In the wake of increasing incidents of gas tanker accidents, the Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the state government to hold discussions with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on the viability of transporting of bulk load of LPG through railways.
The state should discuss either laying railway tracks to the existing LPG bottling units or shifting units to areas where bulk loads could be taken through railways, held a Division Bench comprising Justice C N Ramachandran Nair and C K Abdul Rahim.
The court issued the directive while considering a petition seeking an order for judicial inquiry into the tanker disaster and consequent deaths at Chala in Kannur.
The petitioner had also sought directions to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for providing adequate compensation to the victims of the accident.
“The best solution for bulk transport of hazardous and explosive materials like LPG would be through rail in view of the recurring accidents involving tanker lorries that are operated through the narrow roads in the state. The option of establishing bottling units near railway tracks to transport LPG in bulk shall be considered. If the railway line could be provided to the existing bottling units, shifting can be avoided,” it said.
However, the risk factor could be completely avoided by taking up transport through rail, it said. The court will hear the case after two months.