Removal of GAIL marker stones led to pipe rupture

Removal of GAIL marker stones led to pipe rupture

GAIL team inspection the spot were gas pipe damaged during the metro work at Garudacharpalya, Whitefield main road in Bengaluru on Monday 29th October 2018. Photo by Janardhan B K

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had dug up all ‘marker stones’ laid by Gas Authority of India (GAIL) Ltd, during the ongoing Metro work on ITPL Main Road in Garudacharpalya.

Marker stones indicate the presence of gas pipelines underground and caution anyone digging the road to inform the authorities before taking up work. But a senior GAIL official said BMRCL workers had removed marker stones without informing GAIL authorities, leading to the damage.

The leak of inflammable gas from a GAIL pipeline that was damaged due to the ongoing Metro work led to panic earlier this week.

The issue was raised by a corporator during the BBMP council meeting on Wednesday. BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said, “During the meeting with Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, it was learnt that the ‘marker stones’ fixed up by GAIL authorities were removed by BMRCL workers. GAIL puts up these indicators every few metres to indicate the presence of a gas pipeline. But Metro workers removed it. Henceforth, GAIL will deploy officials to monitor work along the Metro network to prevent such incidents.”

P Murugeshan, executive director, GAIL India Ltd to DH, “It is true that they removed these marker stones. This happened because there was no supervision by senior BMRCL authorities. Had senior engineers been present at the site, this could have been avoided. But now, they (BMRCL) have agreed to deploy senior engineers and we will coordinate better.”

BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said long discussions were held with officials from GAIL Gas on Wednesday and both the organisations have decided to work in coordination to prevent such accidents. "We have given details of Metro work and GAIL authorities have said they will provide details of the pipeline network. Instead of focusing on who is to blame, we have decided to take precautions," he said.