CM meets Puthuvype protest leaders, IOC construction stalled temporarily

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with leaders of Puthuvype Protest action council on Wednesday in the capital and agreed to stall construction of new LPG terminal at IOC plant till safety concerns of the residents there were looked into and addressed.

Pinarayi however made it clear that the government cannot pull back certain projects essential for development of the State so long as people’s safety in not endangered.

“The IOC is spending one-third of its project cost to ensure fool-proof safety measures and if it assures safety, quashing a project like this would send wrong signals in terms of progress,” he said.

On 15 June, residents at Puthuvype launched indefinite agitation against construction of a LPG terminal at IOC’s plant there. Protestors claim the construction contravenes order issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 2016 which states that no construction work may be done in the inter-tidal zone between 200 and 300 meters from the coastline.

The sit-in protest is under the aegis of Puthvype LPG Terminal Virudha Janakeeya Samara Samithi .

“We are not against the LPG terminal, but we don’t want the terminal to come up in Puthuvype, which is a densely populated area. The LPG tanker accident in Chala and Karunagappally and the pipeline accident in Andhra Pradesh indicate the dangers involved in handling LPG. The plant at Elamkunnapuzha in Puthuvype will put our lives at risk,” said M B Jayaghosh, chairman of the Samithi.

Residents suggest that IOC set up the facility in Wellington Island.

The project that commenced construction in 2012 has obtained all necessary clearances.

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