Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited’s new crude oil pipeline from Chennai Port to its refinery in Manali has hit another roadblock. The Union Ministry of Environment has de-listed the project and closed it from its pending list, for want of information from stakeholders for over a year.
Earlier in 2011, the project failed to get the ministry’s clearance as two portions of the 17-km-long pipeline were to pass through congested areas.
The Environment Ministry, in its order dated April 2, wrote to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited saying its proposal was examined and the ministry had sought the recommendations of Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority after conducting a public hearing. “Now, about a year has passed and no response has been received. Accordingly, the present proposal is closed and de-listed from the pending list of the ministry,” the circular signed by Lalit Kapur, a director in the ministry, said.
The de-listing was done to prune the pending list, as the ministry has been receiving a lot of adverse publicity, for no fault of it. A number of infrastructure projects have been pending for lack of inputs sought.
To revive the project, CPCL must apply afresh seeking coastal regulation zone clearance from the ministry. As the proposed pipeline falls within 500 metres of the tidal area, it comes under category II of CRZ rules.
The `126 crore project involved laying a 42-inch pipeline from Chennai Port to the Manali refinery. Currently, crude is transported from oil tankers berthed at Chennai Port through a 30-inch pipeline commissioned in 1969 and then by road or rail. The new pipeline would have cut transportation costs.