Mangaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the goal of the government was to have ‘One country, One gas grid’. He was speaking after virtually inaugurating the GAIL pipeline project from Kochi to Mangaluru. He said the Centre was on a major initiative to connect all the gas grids across the country. Modi also said this was a historic moment for the nation and the states of Kerala and Karnataka in particular. He said the project became a reality due to the cooperation of the people and the state governments in Kerala and Karnataka.
The Prime Minister in his speech also stressed upon the necessity of the Central-state cooperation to implement such major projects required for the development of the state and the people. “The pipeline has created 12 lac man-days of employment. The project will benefit poor, medium and entrepreneurs of both states and help in ease of living. It will also supply natural gas to commercial and industrial units. The network of the natural gas pipeline network will be doubled about 32,000 kilometres in 5-6 yrs. The first CNG station was commissioned in 1992, till 2014 only 900 CNG stations were set up and the government is targeting to 10,000 CNG stations from current 1,500,” he said.
PM Modi also stressed that under the Blue Economy, the government is working on a plan to develop its coastal regions in the country, which will include efforts to boost fisheries and seaweed exports. This will help the fisherman and the farmers in the country, he said. Speaking during the occasion, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “The work of laying natural gas pipeline was delayed due to legal and land acquisition hurdles. Later, the work gained momentum. Former minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers late Ananth Kumar and present minister D V Sadananda Gowda’s initiative helped in realising the project.
“The project will benefit 14,000 houses in the district. Several CNG stations will come into the city through GAIL (Gas Authority of India Limited). The union government has sanctioned Rs 20,000 under Smart City projects. A DPR has already been done for construction of a tunnel in Shiradi Ghat at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. Road work of Kulshekar-Karkala is under tender process. “The government has sanctioned a coast guard training centre to Mangaluru which is the first training centre in the country. Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda has approved the long pending demand of plastic parks in the city,” he said.
The LNG pipeline commissioned at a cost of Rs 3,226 crore and covering an area of 444 kilometers passes through the districts of Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod in Kerala and culminates at Mangaluru in Karnataka. The project commenced in 2009 and should have been completed by 2016 but owing to political opposition in land acquisition, the project got delayed and now stands completed in 2020. This project was a part of the manifesto of the Left in Kerala.
The project has already been supplying gas to the industrial units and residences in the Ernakulam city since 2013 after a part of the project was commissioned. Speaking on the occasion, Union minister for Petroleum and Natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “The cooperation extended by the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was exemplary and said this model has to be emulated.” He also thanked the Kerala Chief Minister publicly. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during his address said the project had become a reality owing to the support of the people of the state and the joint work with the GAIL and Union government.
He said the commissioning of this project was a major election promise of the Left Front and expressed satisfaction on its completion. He said the project was almost decommissioned in 2015 and after the LDF government assumed office in 2016, the project again started functioning. Union Minister of Coal, Parliamentary Affairs and Mines Prahlad Joshi, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala and Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner Dr K V Rajendra, MLA Dr Y Bharath Shetty and others were present during the virtual inauguration.