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