Jhapa: Locals have expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s preparations to build a petroleum storage house and a gas bottling plant at Mechinagar-13 Charali in Jhapa.
Locals have protested against the construction of petroleum storage houses and gas bottling plants near human settlements and forests. They have been agitating by forming a struggle committee.
Badri Mahat, coordinator of the Civil Struggle Committee, said, “It is not appropriate to build petroleum storage houses near the settlements and forests.” We can’t agree on that. “
The government had announced to build a petroleum storage facility in Jhapa through policies and programs. Locals of Mechinagar-13 have protested against the government’s plan to set up a gas bottling plant along with the storage house.
The local Muna official said, “If there is an accident, the damage it will cause is unimaginable.” There are five hundred houses around. There is also a forest nearby. Our concern is that building a storage house in such a place increases the risk. ’
The protest started while the Nepal Oil Corporation was preparing to build a petroleum pipeline from Siliguri in India to Charali in Jhapa.
The corporation is preparing to build a petroleum storage house and gas bottling plant on 23 bighas of land on the Mechi Highway. However, local people are adamant that storage houses should not be built among human settlements.
Tej Prasad Sigdel, a local, said the government should be sensitive when making long-term plans.
The technical team of Indian Oil Corporation has completed the first phase of the survey after the government decided to build a petroleum storage facility along with the construction of an inter-country pipeline from Siliguri in West Bengal to Charali in Jhapa.
However, the locals argue that there are human settlements around the area where the storage site is being constructed and the ecological biodiversity of the nearby Hatemalo forest area will also be affected.
Sameer Sigdel, a local, said the government report pointed out the risk in densely populated areas, but expressed surprise at the lack of soil testing and DPR preparation.
“Government bodies are working on contradictions,” he said. “We can’t agree on that under any circumstances.”