Kochi gas plan moves at snail’s pace

This has resulted during a stalemate over the fate of the project which might are instrumental in providing cooking gas to thousands of households.

“We could provide around 1,900 PNG connections thus far. We’ve completed the plumbing works in around 15,000 households,” a politician with IOAGPL said.

Once the tenure is expired, IOAGPL would require permission from Petroleum and gas Regulatory Board for continuing the project. “There is not any clarity regarding whether we should always give 40,000 connections in five years or found out the infrastructure for providing that many connections. If fixing infrastructure required for providing 40,000 connections is enough, we’ve arranged the specified infrastructure,” the official said.

However, laying of pipelines for supplying the gas is yet to start in many of the local bodies. IOAGPL officials blame the local bodies, which did not provide approval for exhumation roads for the aim, for the delay while authorities of varied local bodies allege that the apathy on the part of the agency is that the reason for the slow pace of the project. “Initially, there was a dispute regarding the low road restoration charges fixed by the govt.

Later, the govt revised the order fixing reasonable charges. “We have cleared all the files associated with the road cutting permission sought by the firm,” Harris said. But IOAGPL hasn’t started the add Kochi Corporation limits, including giving PNG connections.

Back delays and disputes

Following back to back delays and disputes in implementing the project, Ernakulam district collector intervened. Then, approvals got for exhumation roads in a number of the wards in the Thrikkakara municipality. District administration informed IOAGPL that the exhumation of roads in other local bodies like Eloor and Tripunithura can also be started once the add Thrikkakara is over.

But the IOAGPL couldn’t register much progress within the add Thrikkakara municipality. “There were various technical reasons. Now, there’s the shortage of workforce thanks to the restrictions as a part of Covid-19 situation,” a politician with IOAGPL said. albeit the restrictions are lifted, the firm will need to await the monsoon to be over. By that point, declarations for local body elections are going to be out.

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