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Thousands of trees are facing the axe between Chembur and Raigad districts of Maharashtra for laying 43 km of pipelines of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, the Bombay High Court has granted permission to the state-owned oil company to cut 11,677 trees, including 10,582 mangroves, for laying four pipelines from its refinery in Mahul in Chembur to Rasayani in Raigad district.

“The project was in the larger public interest,” Justice AS Chandurkar and Justice Jitendra Jain said.

The cutting of more than 11,000 trees has been permitted so that BPCL’s goal to reduce its ‘carbon footprints’ is achieved.

BPCL in its petition said that four pipelines passing from Mahul in Chembur to Rasayani in the neighbouring Raigad district will reduce the requirement of transporting petroleum products.

BPCL had argued that there is no railway line for the transportation of bulk quantities of petroleum products between Mahul and Rasayani. Hence, the pipeline would completely wipe out the requirement for road transportation, and apart from reducing transportation costs, it would also result in a reduction of losses on account of loading and unloading operations.

The BPCL added that the pipeline will not be affected by natural disasters such as cyclonic storms, floods, etc.

HT report mentioned that a public sector undertaking was required to move to the high court for permission as the pipelines pass through lands belonging to the Mumbai Port Authority Land and CIDCO.

Now the HC bench has allowed BPCL to undertake a 43-km pipeline project by cutting 10,582 mangroves and 1,095 other trees after noticing that the public sector undertaking had obtained all requisite permissions from MOEF&CC, Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) and had also deposited an amount of 3.70 crore with the forest conservation department for compensatory afforestation.

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Published: 28 Jan 2024, 10:34 AM IST

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