Residents have been protesting against the construction of the LPG Terminal in Kochi.

Several injured in Kochi as police lathicharge protesters at IOCs LPG plant site
news Protests Sunday, June 18, 2017 - 14:10

The ongoing protest by residents against the construction of the LPG terminal at Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plant at Puthuvype in Kochi turned violent on Sunday when the police used force to disperse the protesters.

Many people, including women were injured, when the police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters, who tried to enter the terminal area. The injured have been taken to the Government Hospital in Ernakulam.

According to television reports, the protests began when work on the LPG terminal was restarted despite the government promising that it will be stopped until July 4. One protester told reporters that stones were pelted at them while they were sitting near the site, and the police had used force.

The residents in the thickly populated region have been protesting against the construction of the LPG terminate at the IOC plant for the past four months.

They oppose the project on the grounds that the order to resume construction was in contradiction to the National Green Tribunal’s July 2016 direction that no construction work should be carried out in the inter-tidal zone between 200 and 300 meters from the coastline.

Residents also fear that constructing the plant in a densely populated area may lead to mishaps like the LPG tanker accident at Chala in Kannur in 2012, which killed 20 people. In 2009, four people were killed and 15 injured when a gas leak from an LPG tanker set off a fire following an accident on NH 47 at Karunagappally in Kollam.

However, NGT had given the go-ahead for the project in April 2017. The police has been providing security cover the plant, as directed by the district collector.

On Saturday the police had arrested many protesters from the High Court junction as they demonstrated ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the city to inaugurate the Kochi Metro.

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