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JUN 30 2014

Karnataka has no reason to fear gas pipeline leakage, says official

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Mon 30th JUN 2014

Karnataka, which has a 700-km-long gas transmission pipeline cutting across six districts to Bangalore, has no reason to fear gas leakage, according to a senior official of GAIL India.

But for damage that could be caused by a third party, Karnataka should not be seen in the light of what happened in Andhra Pradesh, the official said, adding that the issues and situations in the two locations were different.

The public sector Gas Authority of India (GAIL) has laid the gas pipeline in both the States.

The quality of gas coming into Karnataka is different from the Andhra Pradesh supply, the official said.

Sixteen people were killed when a leaking gas pipeline caught fire and triggered an explosion at Nagaram village near East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, on Friday.

Old villain

Gas pipelines are designed to last at least 30 years. The official said that gas condensates, in the Andhra supplies, have been an old villain, corroding some of the pipelines and cutting their life by half. For many years, this has been the bane of natural gas entity GAIL and its public sector sibling Oil & Natural Gas Corporation.

"What happened in A.P. is not a new issue and there have been other incidents. We have been grappling with this problem [of gas quality] for many years," he said.

The cross-country pipeline coming into Karnataka from Dabhol in Maharashtra is barely two years old and "in perfect condition, unless third parties damage it intentionally or accidentally".

International guidelines

The pipelines are laid as far away as possible from where people reside.

International guidelines prescribe that the areas where pipelines are near habitations must be patrolled daily by field staff; by helicopter every month; and frequently and manually in vulnerable areas - a drill practised in the State, according to the official.

Long route

GAIL imports the gas at Dabhol and pipes it into the State. The pipeline traverses remote villages and less populated areas of Belgaum, Dharwad, Bellary, Davangere, Tumkur and Ramanagaram up to Bangalore, where it skirts the city for 53 km to be distributed to user industries.

Bangalore is a distribution area where the supply volume is low and the pressure is low compared to transmission lines.

In an emergency, the buck stops with GAIL and the respective district authority - in this case the Deputy Commissioner.

Tags

Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh Karnataka Gas Natural Gas Oil Bangalore India AIL

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