The Gas Authority of India (GAIL) said it will commission the first phase of the INR37bn ($722.6m) Kochi-Mangalore pipeline project by next month.
This first phase involves laying 40km of pipeline in Kochi, 33.5km of which has now been welded and lowered.
The 1,114km-long Kochi-Mangalore/Bangalore pipeline is being carried out in two phases. The second phase involves laying a pipeline to link Kochi to Bangalore and Mangalore, expected to be operational in 2013-14.
Once completed, the pipeline will transport gas through the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
Laying contracts were awarded in January 2012 and mobilization of equipment and manpower is in progress, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri RPN Singh told the Parliament of India last week.
In November, during a public hearing organised by GAIL in presence of its Competent Authority, Project Assistant Commissioner Suryanarayana at Kariyangala GP premises, villagers said that they will not hand over their land for the cause of this project at any cost.
Villagers suggested that since the pipeline will start from Kochi Coast, it should be laid on the coastal bed instead of cutting across fertile cultivated land.
On Thursday Singh said, "The suggestions from land owners for re-routing of pipeline received during such hearings are given due consideration, subject to technical feasibility."