Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to come up with a Model Act for ‘Right of Use’ in consultation with the ministries of petroleum and power, and circulate the same to all states and union territories, in an attempt to resolve a big roadblock in infrastructure projects.
PM’s directions came last month while reviewing the 1,212-km long Paradip-Hyderbad pipeline project of the Indian Oil Corporation, among the longest pipeline projects in the region passing through three states, whose foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister in December, 2018. The PM was told, as per officials, that the project was held up due to 60 km of ‘Right of Use’ issue pending in Andhra Pradesh and a 6-km stretch of ‘Right of Use’ pending in the state of Odisha.
With the commissioning deadline aimed for 2020, PM is said to have fixed a deadline of February 15 for both the states to resolve these issues.
‘Right of Use’ implies a right acquired by an operator in a portion of land for laying, operating and maintaining a pipeline and an agreement signed with the land owner, putting certain restrictions on him regarding usage of that land. A major issue in ‘Right of Use’ is land-owners insisting upon operators to use highways for laying pipelines or power lines rather than farm land, officials added.
Companies laying gas pipelines routinely face hurdles in obtaining right of use across the country. Companies have to mostly deal with municipal authorities in town and cities and with state governments outside municipal areas.