End in Sight for Oil Leaks as Pumping May shift to Ennore - The New Indian Express

End in Sight for Oil Leaks as Pumping May shift to Ennore

Published: 17th December 2013 07:25 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 07:25 AM

The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on Monday informed the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it is planning to shift its oil pumping operations from North Chennai to Ennore.

For this purpose, the Ministry is in the process of acquiring 100 acres of land in Ennore to accommodate three major public sector oil companies - CPCL, BPCL and IOCL, the counsel for the Ministry told Justice M Chockalingam, the chairman, and Prof R Nagendran, member of the NGT, when an application from VP Krishnamoorthy of Old Washermanpet came up before it on Monday.

While admitting the application on an earlier occasion, the bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani had observed that the issue raised was a very important matter relating to leakage of oil from the pipelines maintained by the oil companies in North Chennai. According to newspaper reports, the oil leakage had badly affected the drinking water. “It appears that the State government as well as the ministries concerned are taking certain steps in consultation with the TNPCB for rectifying the defects as a temporary measure. It remains to be seen whether the Union Ministry is taking steps to maintain the pipelines in a proper manner to avoid such leakage in future, since it involves a very important public issue,” the NGT had further observed.

The applicant sought various reliefs, including a direction to the oil companies to shift the pipelines running through densely populated areas in North Chennai and to discontinue use of the present pipelines, besides a direction to the TNPCB to initiate proceedings against them. He also sought a direction to the Union Government to evolve an action plan to address and combat oil leak and spills to mitigate the damage caused. Residents had been agitating for a long time demanding that the pipelines be shifted from residential areas, but there was no action till date.

The bench adjourned the matter till January 6.

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