Foreseeing the chance of a bullet tanker tragedy like Chala in Tripunithura Town, the residents in here demanded a complete ban of the tankers through the main roads.
According to the residents, more than hundred bullet tankers carrying toxic chemicals and liquefied petroleum gas from Kochi Refinery, FACT and Indian Oil Corporation plant at Udayamperoor are plying through the area everyday.
They also said that the number of vehicles passing through the area will be further increased once the `20,000-crore integrated expansion of the refinery is completed.
The fear factor forced them to submit a memorandum before the municipality last week.
“We fear that similar incidents like the Chala LPG tanker tragedy would happen here. For instance, a couple of months ago, a tanker truck carrying liquid ammonia collided with a diesel tanker. Though a major disaster was averted with the right time intervention of the locals, such incidents can be repeated. Moreover, the narrow roads and thickly populated areas in here will increase the consequences,” said Jayendran, a resident of Tripunithura.
Alternatives suggested by the residents
The Mamala-Chithrapuzha Bund Road from Thiruvankulam to Manakkapadi via Kochi Madura bypass and Manakkapadi-Vyttila road via Eroor and Kaniyampuzha should be renovated. Through linking Mamala-Chithrapuzha Bund Road and Manakkapadi-Vyttila road, the tankers can get a separate passage to reach Vyttila from Thiruvankulam
The new route will take the tankers off from five major junctions, Tripunithura town, Thiruvankulam, Hillpalace, Karigachira and Irumpanam. This way the bullet tankers can go to South and North regions of Kerala without entering Tripunithura Town.
The district panchayat and BPCL Kochi Refinery should come forward to renovate the Konothupuzha bund road. This road will provide an easy path to the bullet tankers plying to Indian Oil Corporation’s plant at Udayamperoor from the Refinery.
Tripunithura Municipal Chairman R Venugopal said he would consider allotting sufficient fund in the annual municipal budget.