100 acres of land have been allotted as part of measures for shifting pipelines of oil marketing companies from north Chennai

As part of measures for permanently shifting pipeline operations of oil marketing companies (OMCs) from heavily populated north Chennai areas, the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas (MoPNG) on Monday said 100 acres of land have been allotted to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at Atthipet near Ennore for setting up a new terminal.

In this regard, the Ministry filed an ‘action taken’ report before the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, which was hearing the application filed by V.P. Krishnamoorthy of Washermenpet who sought the shifting of pipelines. This application was filed soon after a huge oil leakage was reported in Tondiarpet, last September.

Mr. Krishnamoorthy alleged that oil leaks from pipelines operated by OMCs posed a grave threat to people living in the vicinity of the pipelines.

When the matter came up for hearing before the Tribunal, Additional Solicitor General, P. Wilson filed the ‘action taken’ report and a draft final report of IIT, Madras, on the cause of leakage and remedial measures.

The report stated that BPCL has been allotted about 100 acres of salt-pan land at Attipattu in Ennore and would commission the new terminal in 36 months from the date of taking over the land.

The report also said, “IIT has stated that the process of bio-remediation/chemical oxidation may take one to two years. The OMCs will accordingly take urgent steps to initiate the remedial measures without delay.”

However, A. Yogeshwaran, counsel for applicant, said the remedial measures were not sufficient. No step was taken to mitigate the soil contamination in the affected area.

The matter has been adjourned to January 24 for further hearing.

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