What bogged down a Rs 3,000-crore GAIL pipeline project in Tamil Nadu

On February 2, chief justice of India TS Thakur lambasted the Tamil Nadu state government while passing orders on a disputed pipeline project, as part of a three-judge Bench. “Such interference in projects of national importance for ‘votes’ is tantamount to a breakdown of constitutional machinery,” he observed, even as the Bench ruled that the project must resume, with additional compensation to protesting farmers. “What is going on? The statutory process of acquisition is complete. The land use rights vest with the central government.

This is not the way to obstruct these projects. What business do you have to say that change the alignment?” he asked. The controversial project is that of a gas pipeline coursing through 310 km of seven districts of Tamil Nadu.

The Kochi-Kootanad-Bengaluru-Mangalore pipeline is an ambitious project initiated in 2007 by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), a public sector undertaking, aimed at connecting the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to the national gas grid. GAIL and the Tamil Nadu state government signed a formal Gas Cooperation Agreement in 2008.

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