Project near HPCL chembur cleared: Ministry of Environment and Forests
Published: Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA (http://www.dnaindia.com/
The residential-cum-commercial complex coming up near the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) refinery at Chembur is now the subject of much ping-ponging between the state and the courts.
A petition had been filed by HPCL challenging the upcoming construction. It cited security threats to the refinery, and also potential health hazards to neighbours with regard to emission of toxic fumes.
Moreover, a confidential report had been submitted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), saying that there was a security threat to the refinery.
Rajeev Chavan, advocate for MoEF (the ministry of Environment and Forests), informed the division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Mridula Bhatkar that an experts’ appraisal committee had cleared the project in 2008, after considering environmental hazards and pollution.
In reply, justice Majmudar wanted to know who would be held responsible in case any untoward incident took place.
Referring to the AMRI hospital fire in which 93 died, justice Majmudar said: “We all saw what happened in Kolkata. People go to hospital to get well, and end up suffocating to death. Such things only happen in our country.”
HPCL has claimed that the project has been sanctioned in the I-3 zone, which is a special industrial zone. Apart from the HPCL plant, Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizers Limited, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre are in the vicinity.
The developer alleged that they were being singled out by the HPCL. “There are 56 seven-storey buildings in the area. The building being constructed by Oswal is far away from the refinery, and all permissions have been acquired from the authorities,” argued Aspi Chenoy, counsel for the developers.
The court said it could not stop anyone abiding by the law. But, “people should consider reality and take precautions,” said justice Majmudar.
Asking HPCL to go through the affidavit filed by MoEF, the court has kept the petition for hearing on January 10.