Trombay LNG opponents set to intensify battle

Vol 5, PW 1 (28 Feb 01) Midstream & Downstream

Indigas and its promoters are confident of progress, yet the project's opponents are set to continue battle, despite the state government clearance.

"We oppose the location of the project," Homi Clubwalla, convenor of the 'Tata Gas Virodhi Samiti', tells Petrowatch, "We will have public meetings, poster campaigns. We are even thinking of going to the courts.

We are convinced the location is unsafe." Clubwalla has drawn up a doomsday scenario should the LNG terminal come up in Mumbai. He said it will have two LNG storage tanks, each of 80 metres diameter and 40 metres height, with the Tata power station and a weapons research facility atthe Bhabha Atomic Power Research Centre located nearby.

"There are oil refineries of Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, the Indian navy's armaments depot and scores of other hazardous industrial units," he adds, "The public hearing was a sham. It was one-way traffic in favour of the project and everything seemed decided beforehand." Clubwalla said there is an earthquake fault line on the bed of the nearby Thane creek and two or three fault lines from Uran, which is also in the vicinity.

"We liken this terminal to the Bhopal's Union Carbide factory (which leaked deadly gas 18 years ago and killed thousands of people)" he adds, "We live in this suburb and are scared of what might happen if there's an accident." Chembur (where the terminal will come up) is home to 1.5m people.