IMPHAL, October 10: A public hearing on the proposed P.O.L depot at Malom was held today at the ground of Megha Government High School at Malom.
The hearing was attended by Th. Chitra Devi, additional magistrate Imphal west as chairperson of the panel members and K. Jagadishwor Singh member secretary Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) Priobhash Dey, general manager Indian Oil Co-orperation and N. Minaketan Singh, senior environment engineer, Manipur Control Board, as panel members.
A low turned out of people was witnessed during the hearing as most of the people affected by the proposed depot failed to turned up for the hearing.
Few people representing the affected people showed up in the hearing and submitted a representation in writing, requesting to defer the hearing. However, the hearing went on smoothly without any interruption.
While delivering his welcome speech, member secretary K. Jagadiswor Singh, IFS, termed the proposed POL depot as a landmark occasion for the development of the state of Manipur.
He said that it was also mandatory for the MPCB to conduct the hearing to accord environmental clearance to the construction/establishment works of the proposed P.O.L depot as per the guidelines of the MoEF, government of India by properly following the guidelines including giving wide publicity like issuing notifications for the public hearing through the media.
The 36 acres proposed depot site is located 8 km away from Imphal and 2 km away from the Tulihal Airport alongside National Highway 150.
The works for the nine storage tanks would be executed in two phases.
The first phase would be road fed while the second will be rail fed. The storage capacity for Petrol will be 5124 kilo litres, 5055 kilo litres for Kerosene and 11796 kilo letres for High speed diesel. The IOC is targeting to complete the first phase within 36 months and the second phase within 2 years and work execution will be started after all the clear ance is done.
An interaction programme was opened during the hearing inviting queries, clarifications, views, suggestion, opinions etc on the proposed project.
M. Mera Singh of Tuliyaima, an affected pattadar, during the interaction programme proposed the authority concerned to give priority to the affected people if there was any provision of employment and increase the compensation as per the latest rate prepared by the government.
The MPCB agreed to include the proposal in the proceedings of the hearing.
In response to Nongthongbam Brojendro of Khurai who enquired about the duration of both commencement and completion of the project, the representatives of Indian Oil Corporation clarified that the fist phase will be completed within 36 months while the second in 2 years but the commencement will begin after all the required clearance is made.
In response to one S. Menon Singh of Monsangei, who sought clarification on the issues of control of pollution levels and the benefits that the people will get from the proposed depot, N. Maniketan Singh, senior environmental engineer, MPCB clarified that all the latest means for pollution control measures and guidelines issued by the MOEF from time to time will be adopted for maintaining the level of pollution at the minimum recommended level.
J.S Patel, IOCL, in his clarification said that the depot is basically for the people of Manipur and all the safety norms laid down by Oil Industry Safety Directorate and Chief Controller of Explosive will be complied with and asserted that a Disaster Management Plan based on Risk Analysis would also be put in place for mitigating any kind of disaster.
He was responding to queries put up by Premchand Singh of Kwakeithel, whether the IOC is setting up the depot with the objective for expanding the business to the neighbouring county like Myanmar and regarding the IOC’s preparation to tackle any disaster. While addressing the gathering Th. Chitra, ADM Imphal West, appreciated the positive outcome of the public hearing and acknowledge the co-operation and support given by the public in the hearing today.