Though the agitators were arrested by the police, they were later released on bail.

Kerala anti-GAIL activists step up protests march to Mukkom project siteFile Image
news Protests Wednesday, March 07, 2018 - 10:32

The protests over the GAIL pipeline project in Kerala’s Mukkom seems to be picking up momentum again as anti-GAIL activists including women, marched to the project site on Tuesday.

The protests resumed with the residents alleging that the government and the administration have failed to avoid heavily populated areas for implementing the government’s ambitious project.

Though the situation did not turn violent, the agitators were arrested by the police and later released on bail, reports Deccan Chronicle.

The agitators later told DC that minister MM Mani had earlier promised the residents who will be affected by the project that necessary alterations will be made to avoid the thickly populated areas.

The leaders of the protests also added that once they get a clearance from the District Collector regarding the issue, they will go ahead and build hamlets on the site of the project.

However, the Collector denied the possibility of any such proposal from his office.

“There is no such assurance from the district administration”, said Kozhikode district collector UV Jose.

The ambitious Kochi-Kootanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru pipeline aims to connect the southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to the national gas network. The 438-km pipeline running from Kochi to Mangaluru is expected to be completed by 2018.

However, the planned project has hit an obstacle in Mukkom, where the pipeline is to pass through residential areas. 

Protesters allege that the pipeline will require 160 acres of land and will displace nearly 600 families, as it passes through densely populated areas in Kozhikode. They also argue that the project violates the Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act 1962, which bars pipelines through residential areas.

On November 1, the protests in Mukkom turned violent after police forcibly removed a tent erected by protesters.