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Last Updated Sunday November 19 2017 02:02 PM IST

'Protests over GAIL project creating confusion among people'

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Minister claims all-party meeting a success; anti-GAIL protesters say demands not accepted

Kozhikode: Protests against the LNG project of GAIL at Mukkom in the district by 'some persons' were creating confusion among people, Industries Minister A C Moideen said here on Monday.

Speaking to media persons after the all-party meeting convened here in the wake of violent agitations against the project, he said land for the purpose had been acquired years ago.

"The land was acquired for the project years ago. But the statements of some persons and the protests are creating confusion among people on the project", Moideen said.

Stating that GAIL should ensure that people owning only five cents of land are rehabilitated, the minister said the compensation to those affected would be increased to the maximum extent possible by the state government.

"The alignment of the project will not be changed. The government will hold talks with GAIL authorities on the safety of the project. I will inform the chief minister of the violent incidents, which led to the police action, he said.

The minister told representatives of political parties and other outfits that the issues that they raised at the meeting would be looked into.

Opposition leader in the Kerala assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan himself was trying to put road blocks to the peace process in GAIL pipeline project.

"No one is against the project. But mistakes in implementing it should be corrected. The authorities have a responsibility. Not even a notice was issued prior to land acquisition", he alleged.

He was speaking to reporters at Mukkam.

Meanwhile, Malappuram district collector Amit Meena, who also participated in the talks, said pipeline laying work for the project would continue uninterrupted and that all issues raised in the meeting would be addressed

"The administration will issue a notice which will include details of land acquisition for the project", he said.

Leaders of the agitation said none of their main demands were accepted at the meeting. Tuesday's meeting will decide on the next steps of the agitation. Members of Parliament M.K. Raghavan and M.I. Shanavaz of the Congress party said they will go with the decision of the protesters.

Legislators in the area, two representatives each of political parties, GAIL officials and protest leaders Akbar and Abdul Kareem attended the meeting. Apprehensions about the pipeline passing through populated areas was also discussed at the meeting.

Read: Latest Kerala news | Will go ahead with GAIL pipeline project: Malappuram collector

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