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Why a gas pipeline is triggering anger in Kerala

Fringe parties such as the rightwing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Solidarity Youth Movement are currently driving the agitation. (Photo for representation purpose)

Fringe parties such as the rightwing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Solidarity Youth Movement are currently driving the agitation. (Photo for representation purpose)

On November 1, Kozhikode in north Kerala witnessed violent protests against the laying of a pipeline by the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL). The Kochi-Koottanad-Bengaluru-Mangaluru Pipeline (KKBMPL) is meant to transport natural gas from Kochi to Mangaluru and Bengaluru (see map). But it has run into rough weather with agitators clashing with police and preventing officials engaged in land acquisition procedures. They have hurled stones and damaged project machinery.

Political parties including the Congress and CPM backed the protest until recently, but have backtracked for fear of being seen as “anti-development”. The project has been delayed considerably as a result of resistance to acquisition of land under the Right of Use (RoU) agreement. The project, which should have been commissioned in 2013, now has a revised deadline of February 2019.

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Credit: indianexpress.com

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