Gas pipeline leaks due to reckless digging, says GAIL

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East Division) Kala Krishnaswamy, GAIL executive director (southern region) P Murugesan, chief general managers Vivek Wathodkar and K P Ramesh at a workshop on 'Pipeline Safety' in the city on Tuesday. DH Photo/Janardh

Frequent incidents of piped gas leakage in various parts of the city has prompted the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to embark on a safety awareness drive involving the major civic bodies, including BBMP, BWSSB, Bescom and others.

The GAIL officials have attributed the previous incidents of leakage to the reckless excavation work taken up by various civic agencies without availing its permission.

Giving details on the safety precautions adopted by the authority to avert such incidents, Vivek Wathodkar, chief general manager, GAIL, said the authority has always installed safety markers while laying the pipeline as a standard practice with directions ‘dial before digging’.

“Our engineers and staff regularly conduct line patrolling. But there is an utmost need to follow safety guidelines before starting any digging activities in the name of public utility services,” he explained.

According to Wathodkar, the authority has been holding safety awareness programmes for public utilities like the BBMP, Bescom, BWSSB, BMRCL besides sensitising Resident Welfare Associations.

Wathodkar said: “The rise in incidents is due to unauthorised third party interventions of different public utility appointed contractors and agencies which have undertaken digging and excavation work recklessly without permissions.”

Further stressing on the safety measures adopted by GAIL, officials revealed about beefing up the six control rooms in Bengaluru with six emergency response vehicles for each control rooms.

P Murugesan, Executive Director (southern region) GAIL said: “To keep a tab on unauthorised excavation work we are conducting helicopter patrolling every month, and we are waiting for the approval to start patrolling through drones. Foot patrolling is already in practice. Besides this, the GAIL engineers have been designated different areas to assess the health of pipeline.”

GAIL officials requested public cooperation to stop unauthorised excavation work, where such informers would be rewarded.

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