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Relief over oil depot closures

More than 30,000 residents of the densely populated Tikiapara locality in Dhanbad are relieved to know that three oil depots in their area will finally be shifted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning a 31,600 kilo litre terminal at Jasidih in Deoghar on Thursday.

The Indian Oil Corporation depot with a combined capacity of 4,100 kilo litre (petrol 300KL, diesel 1,700KL and kerosene 2,100KL) would be wound up with the oil consignment moved to the new terminal at Jasidih, while the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation’s 2,250KL depot (petrol 200KL, diesel 1,770KL and kerosene 280KL), is likely to be moved out to Balidih in Bokaro by the end of the year.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation is also planning to move out its depot that has a combined capacity of 3,396KL (petrol 440KL, diesel 2,161KL and kerosene 795KL) to a remote location by next year.

Vipin Kumar Singh, a Dhanbad-based advocate and Tikiapara resident said, “We live in continuous fear of accidents due to the presence of around 10,000KL of petroleum products in our immediate vicinity. We are relieved to learn that the depots will finally be shifted.”

Jharkhand Petroleum Dealers’ Association seconded the view.

“We have been demanding the shifting of all the three depots with a combined capacity of 9,746KL for more than a decade as these installations make the Tikiapara area unsafe for thousands of its residents,” said Sharad Dudani, the general secretary of the association.

This part, he said, movement of a large number of oil tankers through the city, which is already choc-a-bloc with traffic, including trucks, school buses, vans and private cars, was also huge concern among residents.

Dudani added that they had raised the issue with the district administration a number of times.

Echoing similar sentiments, general secretary of Coal Field Petroleum Dealers’ Association Sanjiv Rana said, “Due to the congested location of the oil depots, delivery to dealers was often delayed.”

A senior IOCL official confirmed the fact that the company would soon shift operations out of Dhanbad. “We will be shifting our operations from Dhanbad soon as a new, fully automated terminus at Jasidih will start functioning. But he refused to provide time frame.”


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