Petro regulator warns companies laying pipelines

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has asked companies engaged in laying pipelines and the city gas distribution (CGD) network to stop undertaking such activities without government consent, failing which, penalties such as three years imprisonment and/or Rs 25 crore fine would be imposed.

Entities that laid pipelines or set city gas distribution networks for selling compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped gas without necessary approvals is required to obtain an authorisation under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 and ''in the meantime not to undertake any such new or incremental activity,'' a press statement issued by the board said here.

In case of continued contravention, the entity responsible shall be liable for additional fine that may extend to Rs 10 lakh a day till the contravention continues, it added.

The regulator has said to companies that they should not initiate any action till the applications for undertaking such activities are decided and authorisation granted in terms of the regulations being finalised.

The Board is engaged in finalizing draft regulations, the manner, and the fees for making an application for authorization in terms of Section 17 (3).

Companies have to furnish all information in a prescribed proforma within 30 days.

Companies including Adani and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) had laid pipelines and set up city gas distribution network in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, respectively, on the basis of 'no-objection' certification from the state governments.

Entities which have initiated any of these activities prior to October 1, 2007, without any authorisation are concerned, they may apply for approvals under the provisions of the PNGRB Act, 2006, and in the meantime are required not to undertake any such new or incremental activity or activities without obtaining authorisation.

PNGRB became fully operational from October 1 after petroleum ministry issued notification establishing the board.

The Act provides for all companies wishing to lay or operate pipelines and CGD networks to take explicit approval from the board.

UNI

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