The Supreme Court has sought response from the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) over a plea filed by GAIL against PNGRB's decision to issue licence for Mehsana-Bhatinda Natural Gas Pipeline (MBPL) project to Gujarat State Petronet (GSP) for Rs 5,000 crore. The contention is that the licence for authorisation for the project was issued by the Chairman's nominee in violation of the Apex Court's directions that all such decisions would be taken up only by a multi-member board.
PNBRB had issued public notice inviting bidders for grant of authorisation for laying, building, operating or expanding natural gas pipeline along route starting from Mehsana (Gujarat) to Bhatinda (Punjab) spanning 1,670 kilometers. GAIL had also bid for the MBPL project which was later granted to GSPL. GAIL has contended that the decision to give the project to GSP would cost the national exchequer a loss of around Rs 5,000 crore.