May 27, 2018, 11:19 pm IST
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LPG terminal work at Puthuvype will be suspended.

LPG terminal work at Puthuvype will be suspended.

 Jun 23, 2017

The work of Indian Oil Corporation's LPG terminal coming up at Puthuvype will be temporarily stopped. A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday following the agitation by local residents against the proposed terminal. However, it was clarified by the Chief Minister at the meeting that the project will not be dropped.

A panel of experts will be constituted by the Kerala government to look into the safety and environmental aspects of the project and submit report. Until the report is submitted by the expert panel, all work at Puthuvype will be suspended.

The decision of the meeting has been welcomed by the Puthuvype action council which was spearheading the agitation against the LPG terminal. The demand of the local residents was that the project should be altogether dropped for ever. The agitation entered 129th day on Wednesday. A couple of days the agitation drew political attention when the police used force to disperse the crowd. .A ruling partner CPI came out against the police action embarrassing the Chief Minister. But his party's state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan of CPM came to the Chief Minister's rescue, strongly defending the police action at Puthvype. He endorsed the statement of the police chief that use of force became inevitable in view of security threat to the Prime Minister who was passing by that area by road.

The Chief Minister is firm that there was no question of going back on the LPG project. The proposed appointment of expert panel is only to examine whether Indian Oil Corporation has violated safety norms while setting up the terminal. Already Rs 200 crore has been spent on the LPG project. IOC is of the view that the terminal would be inevitable for the state as it will considerably reduce the backlog for LPG supply in Kerala. Now LPG is being brought by road. IOC sources also claimed that National Green Tribunal had shown green signal to the import terminal.

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