Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday requested the central government to set up a gas grid in the south for the rapid industrialisation of the southern states.
Inaugurating the Rs 244-crore sea water desalination plant of Chennai Petroleum Corp (CPC) in Chennai, he said: "A southern gas grid should be set up. Similarly, gas from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin in Andhra Pradesh should be piped to Tamil Nadu for the benefit of industries in Chennai."
The desalination plant will make CPC's refinery totally self-sufficient in water supply and save a sizeable sum in water charges, Stalin said at the function, where Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel were also present.
CPC has been sourcing water at six paise per litre from the Chennai Metro Water whereas the cost of producing one litre of industrial grade water at its new plant would be three paise.
At the same function, Patel inaugurated a 95-km pipeline to carry jet fuel. The Rs 50-crore pipeline, owned by the state-run Indian Oil Corporation, will transport the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from Manali to Chennai airport.
Referring to the financial problems of the national carrier Air India, Patel said there "will not be any job loss".
Deora said this week's hike in petrol and diesel prices was inevitable as the oil marketing companies had posted huge losses last fiscal.
Even after the hike, the oil companies would be incurring Rs 24,000 crore losses on petrol and diesel, he said.