55 held in protest against LPG terminal

Fifty-five persons, including 33 women, from the vicinity of the LPG jetty and storage facilities being built by the Indian Oil Corporation on Puthuvype island were arrested around 1.30 p.m. by the police on Tuesday after they staged a protest in front of the LPG facility, demanding that all work on the project should be stopped. Those arrested were shifted to the police camp at UC College, near Aluva.

Around 100 persons had marched to the project site after 10 a.m. but a large posse of police personnel used iron barricades to prevent them from reaching the the work site close to the Ambalakkadavu beach.

The upcoming LPG handling and storage facilities have been at the centre of a long-drawn protest by the people of the island who have alleged that the facilities posed a big threat to their lives and property.

Work on the IOC facility was stopped in February 2017 following the protest by people under the aegis of Puthuvype LPG Terminal Virudha Janakiya Samara Samiti. However, the work resumed after nearly two years.

  1. Jayaghosh of the samiti said on Tuesday that the work site was full of activity in violation of the anti-COVID-19 protocol. The large group of workers, including those from other States, posed a health threat in the background of the spread of the pandemic, he said, and wanted the authorities to intervene and stop these activities. “We have been forced to protest against these activities,” he said.

Mr. Jayaghosh also alleged that the project did not have environmental clearance as of now because the permission granted to the facility lapsed on July 4, 2020.

K.S. Murali of the samiti said that the police had prevented the protesters from reaching near the work site. He said that the protest would continue on Wednesday.

The cooking gas facilities are being built in two parts. One comprises the LPG receiving jetty at the multi-user liquid terminal. There is also a storage facility, which is what is being objected to by the people. The project involves an investment of ₹715 crore.