March 03, 2020 [The Hindu] – Work on the cooking gas import terminal and storage facility on Puthuvype island, being established by Indian Oil Corporation, has resumed in right earnest after the State government intervention in December last year.
Work on the ₹2,200-crore project was suspended on February 16, 2017 following protests by people residing near the site. Work resumed amid tight police security in December. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is still in force around the project site to enable the work to continue uninterrupted.
IOC chief general manager and State head V.C. Asokan on Monday said that the work had resumed with State support. He was speaking to reporters here on IOC performance in the State during the current financial year.
While the local people have expressed fear over the safety of the installations, IOC has maintained that the most advanced safety standards are being followed in the implementation of the project. The terminal and storage facilities are designed to be among the safest and most environment friendly installations, IOC has said. Mr. Asokan said IOC played a dominant role in the Kerala LPG market with a sale of 4.21 lakh tonnes of gas per year, which was 48% of the market.
Cooking gas sale by IOC was expected to exceed five lakh tonnes during the year, he said. Eight new Indane distributions were set up during the current year. There are a total of 337 Indane distributors in the State, catering for around 51.8 lakh consumers.
The IOC official also said that the company had deployed emergency rescue vehicles in Kochi, Kollam and Kozhikode cooking gas bottling plants to attend to any LPG-related emergency and petroleum fuel-related road accidents.
Construction of the Kochi-Salem pipeline from Puthuvype LPG facility and Kochi refinery premises for supply to Palakkad and Salem is under way. The pipeline will help take away a large number of bullet gas tankers off the national highway between Kochi and the northern destinations.
The pipeline will also cater to the requirements of the LPG bottling plants at Palakkad and Coimbatore, Erode and Salem, operated both by BPCL and IOC. The pipeline has connectivity to the Udayamperoor bottling plant. The estimated cost of the project is ₹1,112 crore and the total length is 458 km.
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