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Is this a generation gap? Ode to Ratan Tata ITC – steep excise hike Mercedes-Benz sales continue to zoom Welcome focus to improve rural India... New India Assurance posts impressive show Maruti – for young buyers Smooth sailing of SAIL 29 per cent jump in TCS revenues Michelin to double Chennai capacity V-Guard launches app-enabled water heater system Right to privacy – now it’s fundamental! The unexpected exit A niche in FMCG business... RoC in the dock... AL wins Deming prize again Emami – a new growth mantra Consolidating leadership position in smartphones Land wars AL secures orders for 3600 buses Singur minus Nano – victory or folly? Eyes strong growth in 2016-17 Solar installations exceed 2015 capacity in five months Back in growth mode LVB posts 31 per cent growth in Q1 net profit Increasing market share ITC chairman calls for policy impetus to transform agriculture L&T profit up by 11 per cent Daimler’s truck exports from Chennai cross 5000 units Hyundai to focus on SUVs and AMT variants When small is not so beautiful… Aurobindo Pharmacy: good turnaround Sundram Fasteners rejigs international Last stages E.I.D Parry (India) Ltd: another sweet year L & T’s floating dock for navy Chinese smart phones flourish in small towns too! Smartphone onslaught by Chinese brands Tata Motors aims to be among the Top 3 global CV & PV firm CAPITAL NOTES Shriram Life clocks more than Rs.1000 crore premium in 2015-16 Carnival Films acquiring 3000 screens pan India Tata gets 4-star rating for Zest From the toughest to the best year Titan Company – sales recovery to kick in L&T bags the Mumbai Trans-harbour link order Record two-wheeler sales Preparing for the next growth curve Housing demand revival L & T set bigger ambitions in defence business PSU non-life firms seek to protect share Tata Motors charts investments in PV and CV businesses Hyundai India achieves 7 mn production at Chennai factory Kone India eyes further growth in elevator market He excels in the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship Are they really independent? AL introduces Guru & Partner Vellayan is back, after 150 days PPP model for infrastructure development Yamaha unveils scooter boutique The gainers and the losers Bajaj Finserv – Q1: fare well Toyota and Suzuki to introduce EVs in India by 2020 Ponni Sugars (Erode) Ltd: not so sweet 2012-13 TVS Automobile invests Rs.75 crore in start-up firms IOB on turnaround path Gamesa to set up a plant in Nellore Daimler grows sales and share in India Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL Hindalco – re-rating TVS Srichakra plans capacity expansion Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp sign MoU to merge European units Rane targets Rs.5500 crore topline by 2018-19 A welcome initiative-even critics are recognised Tata Motors joins compact SUV bandwagon with Nexon Forging industry worried over lower supply of steel and its price Wabco launches safety system M & M unveils driverless technology for tractors HPCL plans Rs.61,000 crore capex over 5-years Tata Motors bets on new launches TI Cycles plans retail expansion to drive sales for premium bicycles TN government keen on revival of operations at Nokia complex It takes two to tango Sivasankaran enters taxi space to take on Uber and Ola Dish TV – subscriber additions encouraging
 
It takes two to tango
First the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)and later the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), two prominent Central government undertakings, are getting stuck with their major projects in Tamil Nadu.

The NHAI envisages an elevated road project connecting Chennai port with Maduravoyal,covering a distance of 19 km.  A part of the project is routed through the Cooum riverbed. The state government has stalled it objecting to the piers constructed over the riverbed as affecting the flow of the river. NHAI is consequently affected by the delay leading to cost and time overruns.  The project was conceived to ease traffic connecting the Chennai and Ennore ports providing for speedy transportation, especially of export cargo. In spite of several rounds of meetings between NHAI and PMO officials, including the Advisor to Prime Minister T K A Nair from the Union government, the Chief Secretary and other officials from the departments of the state, the deadlock continues.

 

Work on gas pipeline stopped...

Similar is the plight of the state stalling the construction of the Kochi-Coimbatore-Salem-Bengaluru gas pipeline by the Central government undertaking GAIL.

IE has been stressing the precious contribution made by natural gas for economic development. Gujarat and Maharashtra have built their prosperity by initially making use of the copious availability of gas on and offshore and later through imported gas. The two states have 4800 km of gas pipelines forming 38 per cent of the total pipelines erected in the country of 12,580 km. The share of Tamil Nadu, at 270 km, has been miniscule. Gujarat and Maharashtra make rich use of natural gas, both domestic and imported, for feeding fertilizer, power, petrochemicals, steel, ceramics and other industries, as also for city gas distribution and transportation. Strangely, Tamil Nadu has been content to focus on the engineering industry,and has not bothered to appreciate the elegance, economy and efficiency of gas.

 

Lack of interest in natural gas...

Up to the 1980s, Tamil Nadu was a major producer of fertilizers through Neyveli Lignite Corporation (lignite- based), Madras Fertilizers and SPIC (naphtha based). When the feedstock shifted to gas in the late 1980s, Tamil Nadu failed to adapt and soon the industry turned sick. Today the state is heavily dependent on other states for meeting its requirements of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers.

    The lack of interest on the part of business leaders and policy makers in using gas and the neglect of major producers and marketers of gas like ONGC, GAIL and Petronet to  educate the public on the superior qualities of gas have led to sections of TN citizens opposing the laying of the gas pipeline.

It is not as if the state has been trying to lay pipelines for the transportation of liquid fuel only now. Years ago, major oil marketing companies had laid product pipelines connecting Karur with Kochi Refineries and Tiruchi, Madurai and Bengaluru with the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. These have been laid through agricultural land and have been extremely elegant and economical in moving large volumes of petroleum products.

GAIL plans to connect the Kochi LNG Terminal with Bengaluru. This will serve the seven districts in

Tamil Nadu. Through spur lines, cities en route can be supplied with CNG for automobiles and PNG for domestic and commercial uses. Natural gas will also spur industrial development powering textile and forging units, ceramics, glass, food industries, as also power and fertilizer units.

The resistance by farmers needs to be tackled by the government more effectively. Though late, GAIL is now actively projecting the benefits of natural gas to industry associations like CII.

The Chairman, CII (SR) B Santhanam has been impressed and has suggested GAIL to project the benefits to a cluster of small industries and domestic users. But, far more important is the initiative of policymakers in Delhi to make a concerted effort to convince the state leadership.

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