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Most of the Kochi-Salem Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) pipeline in Tamil Nadu will run along National Highway 544 (NH544) that runs between these two locations.

Official sources in Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) said the State government had told the company that as much as possible, it should take the pipeline along the national highway.

“On the Tamil Nadu side, the project has been pending for sometime now due to issues with land acquisition. The present government has suggested this to reduce the quantum of land acquisition. On completion, at least eight LPG bottling plants of IOCL and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will be connected to the line. Work on the Kerala side is nearing completion with the line having been laid till Palakkad,” explained a source.

The project has remained incomplete for over five years now. It is a joint venture of the two oil majors and envisages laying of a 429-km LPG pipeline from Kochi to Salem connecting dispatch terminals at Kochi Refinery and Puthuvypeen and receipt terminals at Udayamperoor, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Erode and Salem LPG plants.

The 153-km-long line from Kochi Refinery to Palakkad has been made inert with nitrogen, before trial pumping, as per recommended procedure. Joint site inspections along with officials of various departments including Public Works, Revenue department, NH and State Highways Department have been completed in Tiruppur district. As far as Erode and Salem districts are concerned, most of the right of way of the pipeline is passing along the NH544. At Salem, joint inspection has been completed. In section I, Kochi terminal to Udayamperoor 12 km has been commissioned and is currently in operation.

The project had been stalled after the NH and State authorities denied permissions in December 2014 and February 2015. However, after persistent follow-up and meetings with the State government, a G.O. for land and crop compensation was issued in February 2020. TIDCO was nominated as nodal agency and all surveys have been re-done as advised by the agency to avoid private lands. All authorities have confirmed corridor availability for laying the pipeline.

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