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GAIL will deploy drones to guard gas pipelines to raise safety standards

Updated: November 5, 2015 7:45 am

GAIL, India’s largest natural gas pipeline operator, will deploy drones to guard its pipelines, as part of a host of initiatives to raise safety standards that includes replacing old pipelines and integrating advanced technologies. The move follows one of the worst accidents involving the firm in June last year when its pipeline carrying natural gas exploded in Andhra Pradesh, killing about two dozen people and bringing it harsh public criticism. A government probe into the accident had highlighted safety lapses at the firm and prompted the regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), to slap a penalty. “It (the accident) definitely shook GAIL in terms of credibility,” company chairman B C Tripathi said. The accident, along with a struggling natural gas business due to a global commodity crash, has hammered the company’s public standing since.

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