The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has postponed the bid closing date for laying three trunk pipelines, following a Delhi High Court ruling that the regulator was not empowered to issue authorisation for city gas distribution.
The Board had invited bids for Mehsana (Gujarat)-Bhatinda (Punjab), Bhatinda-Jammu-Srinagar (J&K), and Mallavaram (near Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh)-Bhilwara (Rajasthan)-Vijaipur (near Guna, Madhya Pradesh)-Bhopal gas pipelines.
PNGRB Chairman L Mansingh told Business Standard that the dates for purchase and submission of bids have been extended to May-end. They were earlier spread over February. He said apart from GAIL and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd, a number of pipeline players like Larsen & Toubro, Engineers India Ltd and GMR participated in the pre-bid conference. Mansingh said the board has filed two special leave petitions (SLPs) in Supreme Court against the high court order on January 21. “We have filed two SLPs. One against the order on Section 16, which says the board does not have powers to issue authorisation since the section was not notified. The other challenging the verdict on Indraprastha Gas Ltd,” said Mansingh.
The court quashed a February 13, 2009 public notice and a March 19, 2009 PNGRB order that rejected IGL application for city gas distribution (CGD) network in Ghaziabad on grounds that they were issued in violation of principles of natural justice. Mansingh said the two SLPs may come up for hearing next week.