Deadlock over gas pipeline in UP

UP Govt wants GGL to seek an NOC from it before setting up city gas distribution networks in Lucknow, reports Deepak Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2006 20:46 IST

The Uttar Pradesh government is locked in a stalemate with Green Gas Ltd (GGL), a joint venture of Gas Authority of India (GAIL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The UP government wants GGL to seek a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from it before it begins setting up city gas distribution networks in Lucknow and Agra. GGL does not see why it should, since it has been authorised by the central government, but as the deadlock continues, it is suffering heavy financial losses.

"During our meeting with you on November 8 you were apprised on the seriousness of the situation that GGL is put into and the consequential heavy financial losses, and were requested to kindly have the matter sorted out at the earliest so that GGL resumes project execution at the earliest. It is regretted that no clarification whatsoever has been issued, despite State Environment Department having put in its recommendation around 30 days back and project continues to be stalled," GGL managing director JK Singh Teotia has stated in a recent letter to the UP Chief Secretary.

"We have lost four precious months of the project trying to convince local authorities that GGL does not require any NOC from State Government since we are authorised by the Government of India," said Teotia. "We had begun building the distribution network in Lucknow well before the State Government came out new rules, that involve sending in an 'expression of interest' (EOI). The UP has even issued an NOC to a private party on its basis, which is most unfair."

In fact, the union petroleum ministry had asked the State Government to withdraw the advertisement inviting EOIs. It pointed out that the Supreme Court had ruled that only the central government has the exclusive jurisdiction to legislate on the matter of natural gas. But the UP has not done so.

First Published: Dec 03, 2006 20:46 IST