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Proposed coastal route too close to populated areas
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has rejected the crude oil pipeline route proposed by the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) from the Chennai Port to the corporation’s refinery at Manali, in the city outskirts. The ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), which examined the project, found that the pipeline route was close to habitation.
In a notification dated October 28, MoEF accepted EAC’s proposal to put off the project. It has asked the project proponent to consider an alternate route, keeping maximum distance between human habitations and pipeline.
CPCL had sought Coastal Regulatory Zone clearance for its 17 km-long pipeline. EAC examined the proposal in its meetings held in January and April 2010 and in May 2011. It also considered numerous complaints of Kasimedu Fishermen’s Development Association, saying that the pipeline is passing through thickly populated areas. “The committee noted that two stretches of pipeline are close to habitation,” says A B Harapanahalli, director at MoEF’s regional office in Bengaluru. Harapanahalli was a member of the sub-committee formed by EAC to carry out site verification of the project.
Following the EAC’s recommendation, MoEF has said that an alternate route should be worked out along with safety aspects. “The present proposal is closed and de-listed from the pending list of the ministry and a fresh proposal be considered as per the CRZ notification 2011,” says E Thirunavukkaruasu, deputy director of scientific division of MoEF.