ONGC pipeline project to affect fisherfolk in eight mandals

ONGC pipeline project to affect fisherfolk in eight mandals

‘Every affected individual will be given ₹11,500 per month till the work is completed’

More than 22,000 fisherfolk, who are dependant on the sea and the Gowthami river for their livelihood, will be affected by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) proposed pipeline project in East Godavari district.

According to an official document of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) accessed by The Hindu, a 20-inch pipe will be laid from the offshore platform to the onshore plant at Mallavaram village, through the mouth of the Gowthami river, to develop the block – KG-DWN-98/2.

The pipeline will be laid from the Central Process Platform (CPP) to the Onshore Gas Terminal (OGT) at Mallavaram. Processed at a depth of 30 metres, the gas will further be compressed and transported to the OGT-Mallavaram. The length of the pipeline is 9 km offshore and 13 km along the river Gowthami after entering through the river mouth. It has two major river crossings.

“The ONGC has informed us that it will commence the work on the pipeline project in December. The work will be completed in eight to 10 months. The fisherfolk will be affected as no fishing activity can be carried out during the period,” said N. Srinivasa Rao, Joint Director (Fisheries), East Godavari district.

“We have identified that 22,177 fisherfolk, including single women / widows, will be affected. They are spread over 69 villages in eight mandals in the Konaseema region. Every affected individual will be given a compensation of ₹11,500 per month until the pipeline work is completed,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

As per the socio-economic study done by the revenue and fisheries officials, about 4,300 claimants are ineligible for compensation.

The authorities are displaying the list of the affected people at the MRO offices and the village secretariats.

The affected people belong to the following eight mandals: Tallarevu, Katrenikona, I. Polavaram, Mummidivaram, Ainavalli, K. Gangavaram, Kapileswarapuram, and Kothapeta.

The pipeline route also falls in the Coastal Regulatory Zone and is within the 10-km buffer zone of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary.

However, the 1.17-km pipeline that passes through the forest area (part of the Gowthami river) is unlikely to disturb any forest land.

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