Pipeline networks and their complementary roles in regional development

Pipelines provide the most convenient mode of transport for petroleum, petroleum products and gas in bulk quantities over a long distance. Pipelines have relieved the increasing pressure on the existing surface transport system. Currently India has 7000 KM long network of pipelines.

Advantages:
• Pipelines can be laid through rough terrains as well as under water.
• Operating and maintenance costs are low.
• Low energy consumption therefore less environment pollution problems.
• Industrial regions well integrated by pipeline e.g. the petrochemical industries have decentralized from port locations to the interior of the country (reduce regional disparity)

Limitations:
• High initial cost
• Capacity can’t be increased once the pipeline is laid down
• Soft targets for terrorists (reason for TAPI delay in Afghanistan)
• Difficult to repair, detection of leakages is quite difficult.

Related Article: Growing importance of ports on national and foreign trade

Now a days solid minerals too are transported by pipelines after converting them into slurry:
• Iron ore in form of slurry is carried away from Kudremukh to Manglore port
• Rock phosphate from Malton mines to Debari smelter plant in Udaipur district of Rajasthan

Important pipelines of India:
• HBJ (Hazira-Bijapur-Jagdishpur) pipeline is the longest gas pipeline of India, due to which several gas based fertilizer plants have emerged at Bijapur, Jagdispur, Shahjahanpur, Aonla etc.
• Naharkatiya-Nunmati-Barauni  pipeline
• Mumbai high - Mumbai – Ankleshwar - Kayoli pipeline
• Kandla-Bhatinda pipeline

Building of pipelines is important at international level to foster economic ties and relationship between two countries. Hence pipelines play strategic role in foreign policy too e.g. TAPI pipeline which spans through Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

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  Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 at 10:07 AM under   Geography