The Chennai bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday dismissed the application of the LPG Virudha Samara Samithi against Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) Puthuvypeen, Kochi LPG Import Terminal, said the IOC.
The IOC in a statement issued in Kochi on Friday said the leaders of the Samara Samithi (Protest Group), wanted the tribunal to direct IOC not to implement the project. However, the tribunal refused that demand.
“The tribunal found no substance in the allegation that the project poses safety threats to the residents of the area. Although it was also alleged in the application that the project site is closer to the high tide line than envisaged, based on the submissions made before it, the NGT set aside these arguments as well,” the statement said.
“The tribunal upheld IOC’s contention that storage of LPG is a permitted activity at the seashore under the Coastal Regulation Zone norms and hence the project does not in any way offend those norms. However, the NGT has observed that the oil behemoth may undertake sea protection measures, to arrest sea erosion at the project site,” said the IOC statement.
Work began at the Puthuvypeen terminal in 2012 after obtaining clearance from all concerned authorities and since then, the locals have been in a protest mode. It reached a flashpoint in June this year with the protests turning violent.
Following that, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said after talking with the protesters that at no cost, the project would be dropped.
Samara Samithi has already said that irrespective of the verdict, their protest will go ahead.
The IOC said following the protest that has been going on for the past 10 months, they have suffered a loss of Rs 1 crore per day on account of the delay caused due to the blockade.
The project is conceived to meet the increasing demand for LPG in the country.
The import terminal is coming up at a cost of Rs 2,200 crore and it comprises of a multi-user liquid terminal, the Kochi-Salem LPG pipeline and a bulk terminal at Palakkad.