Asking the Centre to rescind notification on GAIL gas pipeline passing through Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking changes in the central law to provide for social impact assessment for the project.
In the letter, she wrote the proposed alignment would cause "irreparable damage" to Erode, Tirupur, Coimbatore, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Salem districts through which the Kochi-Koottanad-Mangaluru- Bengaluru gas pipeline would traverse.
Here are the eight main things she wrote:
1. Since the competent Government under the relevant Act is the Central Government, the Government of India may rescind the notifications, issued under the Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User) Act, 1962, for the GAIL pipeline in Tamil Nadu
2. Impact of laying pipelines for transport of gas and other petroleum products was very wide and affects the life and livelihood of farmers in multiple ways by restricting their usage of land and exposing them to risks.
3. It is particularly so in this project since the Act prohibits planting of trees in the lands taken under the Right of User in Land clauses and fruit bearing trees are the main crops in this region and no crop can be grown adjacent to fruit bearing trees.
4. Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act, 1962, should be amended to have a specific provision for carrying out a Social Impact Assessment similar to the provisions of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
5. GAIL should be directed to not to act upon the "said notifications" (allowing the pipeline project) pending a final view over the matter.
6. GAIL could also be directed to be part of the state's Expert Committee, for the purpose of exploring the possibility of laying the pipelines alongside the National Highways
7. The huge implications for the farmers and common people of Tamil Nadu can be resolved through a joint constructive and accommodative approach and a solution can be arrived at to lay the pipelines along the National Highways
8. Among others, the project would result in the removal of over an estimated 1.20 lakh mango, jackfruit and coconut trees besides bringing restrictions on excavating tanks and wells even as the pipeline band "fragments a large number of land holdings, rendering them completely uneconomic
The Supreme Court on February 2 had dismissed a plea by the Tamil Nadu government against GAIL's Kochi-Mangalore liquefied natural gas pipeline and quashed the state government's notification that had sought its re-alignment. Just two days after the SC’s judgement, Tamil Nadu government said it would file a review petition against the recent Supreme Court decision.