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Coal stocked at Cochin Port Trust is a disaster waiting to unfold

PW Bureau 

Coal imported by a state-owned company in Kottayam has not been attended to for a few days at the yard, although fire outbreaks have been reported many times in the area Kochi: Coal stored at a yard operated by Cochin Port Trust (CPT) at Willingdon Island is putting industries and residents near the area at risk, given that outbreaks of fire are being reported from around the city. The coal imported by a state-owned company in Kottayam has not been attended to for a few days at the yard, even as fire outbreaks have been reported from the area on multiple occasions, according to residents.

Sub-standard coal

Residents in the area say the company has not bothered taking the coal consignment since the coal stacked was of second-rate quality. “There were incidents of multiple fire outbreaks in a single day at the yard. Still, authorities are reluctant to take any measures to shift the coal from there,” said corporation councillor KR Premakumar. “We have asked Kochi Corporation to intervene into the issue. It is up to the company to shift the coal. The firm is giving us rentals,” said a CPT official. “Moreover, we have deployed workers for wetting the coal to avoid chances of fire mishaps. Workers spray water on the coal multiple times a day. Besides, we have all the firefighting facilities with us,” the official said.

Storage tankers could lead to disasters

The CPT area also has storage tankers of various industrial units and factories, which could also result in a disaster if not attended to, Premakumar said. “If the storage tanks, like ammonia tank, catch fire, it would lead to a disaster. So, authorities should act fast and shift the coal from there,” said Premakumar.