City-based international oil expert writes to PM
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City-based international oil expert writes to PM

February 1, 2022

Need to look into why some BJP leaders are opposing piped gas project in Mysuru

Respectful Prime Minister Shri Modiji,

I write this letter with the utmost urgency to draw your attention to the gross injustice that is being done to Mysuru city by your own party MLAs and Corporators of the city. They are attempting to stop the much-awaited and desired piped gas supply to people’s homes.  A project that you have been strongly advocating and wanting to move India towards gas economy.

It may be relevant to state that I am a graduate of IITM with a Ph.D from the University of Houston. I have worked for over 20 years for Conoco and then for 9 years as USAID Consultant. I was a Board Member of Georgian National Oil Company and worked in Ghana, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, London, Milan, Dublin, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, etc. In some countries I have fought oil sector corruption. 

When you announced the ambitious goal of achieving 15% gas share in energy mix by 2030 from the current level of 6%, having worked on several gas projects I was very happy. I have been promoting as early as 1990s for giving greater role to gas sector like in many parts of the world. I had suggested liberalisation of gas prices, promotion of international gas pipelines like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, Myanmar-Bangladesh-India, Iran-Pakistan-India (despite the potential geo-political problems), promotion of LNG imports by establishing LNG terminals etc.

You have correctly set the goal for piped gas to reach 400 districts or 70% of Indian population in 2018. It was ambitious, but still achievable if we all try.

In the above background, I was shocked and saddened when your own party MLAs and Corporators in Mysuru opposed the piped gas project. They have advanced the specious argument that pipelines will damage the roads and no funds are provided to repair the roads. They also argued that crores have been spent to asphalt the road and it will go to waste now when roads are dug to lay the gas pipelines.

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Mysureans are puzzled by their irrational and untenable  arguments in opposing the environmentally sound piped gas project. For most part, gas pipelines are laid on footpath which will not have any impact on roads. Also the piped gas project provides enough to restore dug up roads. Also despite all the so-called planning (in reality there is little) to prevent frequent digging of roads, there is frequent digging of roads even in new layouts. But these leaders never raised objections then. Why now?

In old Mysuru, sewage system has practically broken and digging of roads to install sewage pipelines will be inevitable. In short, objections raised are not with any serious concerns. Already gas pipelines are installed all over India and millions of homes are getting piped gas. Problems or concerns like the ones raised in Mysuru are not reported.

It is necessary to recall what happened while providing 24×7 water supply during UPA to Mysuru under JNNURM few years back. The contract was given by the State Government to a Tata company, JUSCO. From day one, most of the Corporators opposed the project. There were many hurdles by Corporators throughout the implementation of the project. Again, objections raised were not sound. Later it became obvious why the Corporators were upset. Being a Tata company, they refused to give the ‘usual’ commission. As a result even after spending more than Rs. 180 crore, Mysuru does not have 24×7 water supply today.

To our misfortune, history seems to be repeating in this piped gas project. This being a Central project, there is no provision for any commission. This was publicly stated by Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha during a press briefing. He, along with JD(S) MLA G.T. Devegowada are the leaders who have been lending all the support.

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No one will publicly admit to the “real reason” for raising objection to the project. But the public is fully aware of the shameful drama that is being enacted. A Council meeting of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) was scheduled to approve the project. But few key leaders seem to have stage-managed not to have the quorum and it is not clear when the Council can take a decision.

May I urge you to institute two high-level committees. First should consist of top-level State BJP leaders. They should inquire into the unusual and citizen unfriendly performance of their own elected leaders. They should find out why they obstructed to a project which has energy security implications and contribute to fight climate change. Second committee of high-level officials should explore ways of getting around the issue of proceeding with the project with the utmost speed despite the objection by Corporators in a legally sound manner. 

Few days back, you gave a call to fight corruption by comparing it to termite. With your intervention, please help us to fight corruption termite in Mysuru. 

Yours sincerely,

Bhamy V. Shenoy,

Founding Working President of Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP)

7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “City-based international oil expert writes to PM”

  1. A V Prasanna says:

    What a Joke? Why Bhamy Shenoy does not write a letter on confusion on pricing of piped natural gas. SOM had reported that there will be a minimum price of Rs. 700 pm, whther the residents use PNG or not. The company has not clarified this nor there appears to be a company which has a office. Check the web site there is no mention of the office. Some students come door to door collecting data. When questioned on pricing they are clean bowled. Bhamy Shenoy what are your fees for this article???

  2. Gautam says:

    Why Barmy Shenoy now scribbling this letter to PM Modi ,who does not know this person at all?
    The background:
    Barmy, like all member of this ‘Grahachara crowd (MGP) who are barmy and bonkers, is only interested in promoting himself. He is like his MGP friends an outsider arriving in Mysuru in 1980s to settle along with that massive crowd of outsiders-non-Mysoreans who ensured that more houses are built at the then perimeter of the city clearing the wonderful forest.
    Since then , he has been itching for action! He does not like to be ignored, as he considers himself a multi-faceted genius!
    He tried standing as a candidate in an election years ago and was soundly defeated.
    Since then, he is masquerading in various incarnations as : international oil expert, eco warrior, heritage fighter, suggesting that the Devaraja Market should be developed like the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul! Not even the Russell Market Bengaluru aspires to be one!!

    Now, he has seen this gas pipeline-laying as an opportunity to project himself as an ‘international oil expert.
    @Prasanna, to answer to your question, it is suffice to assume that Barmy may be planning to stand in an election as a BJP candidate or gain an advisory position for this gas pipeline project. Barmy would claim that he has extensive experience in gas pipeline project in Georgia, the third world small country bordering the Black Sea ,near Russia. The reality of his ‘international oil expertise’ there is working in a small gas pipeline company. Georgia is sparsely populated country and gas pipeline laying was a piece of cake! Georgia was desperate for energy, and the LPG source was not enough unlike in Karanataka,it is working well, and where there are multiple sources of energy-particularly the electricity. Also, Azerbaijan, the neighbouring gas and oil rich country was ready to supply the oil and gas cheap to Georgia. He did not have to do much there anyway. That was years ago, before the massive gas pipe line project that is operating now, in which Barmy had no part!
    The SOM has a bunch of people which it considers as experts-Javeed Nayeem, who writes nonsense in his column projecting himself as a cardiologist, but yet dabbling in heritage bridges, astrology etc..,, Chandra Prakash, ,the retired commerce professor in a private college in Mysuru, who has written a series of daft articles struggling to explain why Mysuru is on the way like Bengaluru and this Barmy, catapulted as an ‘international oil expert’ residing in Mysuru which does not produce oil or gas!!
    Barmy is simply joining the bandwagon set off by that fool, the MP, who is out to destroy the current economically viable and safe LPG gas source to households.
    As for the fees you mention, only the Goddess Chamundeswari knows!

  3. Captain Jack Sparrow says:

    @Prasanna
    Relax. Shenoy is an attention seeker, this time claiming as an ‘international oil expert’-he will prattle his so called achievements when questioned, but one could safely ignore them. Not a ‘pukka’ Mysorean either, arriving to retire, and then finding that no one has noticed him! Yes, he dabbles in politics, which he has done now!
    His motivation? If one has to be cynical ,one would find that he has joined the bandwagon of wicked doers like the MP in question, a loudmouth, who is out to destroy the safe, economic, and reliable supply of LPG cylinders to households in Mysuru, which does not involve digging roads, fixing the threat of leakages etc.. May be looking for action as an adviser or a BJP constituency in Mysuruto have another go in politics, which floundered once? Fee? What do a few thousand Indian Rupees bring? A quintal of rice , may be!!
    He in the past boasted as an IITian, meaning some one a cut above the mere mortals in Mysuru, argued saying like himself IITs took students only on merit, although we knew even in 1960s, how IITs had a quota of places, which the rich and politically powerful parents used as the backdoor, to send in their sons who had no idea of what merit was!
    I would not worry, as PM Modi does not know him, unlike Infosys Murthy who PM Modi knows very well. Shenoy, once commented in a blog-now defunct -(see he has been an attention seeker!),that Murthy had to go to a local engineering college, not to an IIT! While Murthy now is a well known IT figure internationally, Shenoy dabbling in MGP failed efforts on matters of heritage and eco aspects, now touting himself as an international oil expert wants to be noticed by PM Modi! Modi! PM Modi is not going to pickup his cell phone and call Shenoy!! Just an attention-seeking stunt . This will stay for a few days in the SOM, and then not to be ignored, Javeed Nayeem will pick up the topic and write a 2 -part series on gas pipeline, and how he entertained his guests-dropping famous names with gas-cooked delicacies!

  4. Nandini says:

    Shenoy: “It may be relevant to state that I am a graduate of IITM with a Ph.D from the University of Houston. I have worked for over 20 years for Conoco and then for 9 years as USAID Consultant. I was a Board Member of Georgian National Oil Company and worked in Ghana, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, London, Milan, Dublin, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, etc. In some countries I have fought oil sector corruption.”
    I have emailed this message to PM Modi with copy to CM Bommai
    Dear PM Modiji
    How did you miss to notice this internationally famed oil and gas technologist, residing in Royal Mysuru?
    My sincere request to you is to quickly induct him into RaJya Sabha as a member, just like you did for Mrs Sitharaman , the Finance Minister, and make him a member of your cabinet as the energy minister., with powers to override the petty politicalsquabbles involving those who want to use still the firewood and char coal as their cooking energy source. Neanderthals indeed1
    Nothing short of this, will satisfy the Mysuru BJP voters.

  5. Mann Ki Baat, Bisi Bele Baat! says:

    BTW, cooking Bisi Bele Baat in a gas cooker, and serving it hot is so yummy! Bhamy Shenoy is right about gas cooking. The question is: does the taste differ if the food is cooked in gas cooker through a pipe-delivered gas as opposed to from a LPG cylinder?
    Bhamy Shenoy mentions among other places, London, Milan, Belgium and Dublin. As far as I know , London is noted as a huge financial centre, Milan the massive fashion centre, Belgium is the European Union HQ, and Dublin, is the European HQ for the Major IT companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook etc.. I am really puzzled about the oil and gas connection these places have.

  6. Howdy, Modi! says:

    Interesting observations by posters.
    A word of suggestion to Bhamy Shenoy. Water supply and Gas supply are 2 different things and have different issues. Conflating them is sheer nonsense.
    Gas supply through a pipeline, through underground pipes, susceptible to leakage -happens all the time in Western countries, where a dedicated emergency task force attends to it immediately,, and which needs careful monitoring of gas leakage in the pipes coming into to households, is a massive change of culture in a city like Mysuru, currently well served by LPG cylinders for decades,. This is exercising the council leaders it appears, and dividing the politicians of the BJP party itself.
    While you are proud of your credentials brandishing them in public through the SOM, demanding high level committees, whose propensity are to waste time, often years, discussing and disagreeing show sheer naivety. I doubt whether PM Modi who has other burning issues to attend to, would act on what you have suggested.
    You need to relax. I can understand your frustration of not getting noticed by the PM of India or even the politicians in power inn the state. Have a well -earned retired life-which prompted you to come and settle in this city, i which you were not a native.

  7. Howdy, Modi! says:

    apologies for a few typos.

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