Railway Station Oil Depot to be shifted soon to Bajalta

Process picked pace after Guv Rule
Sanjeev K. Sharma
JAMMU, Dec 5: The existing petroleum oil depot near Railway Station here will no more pose a threat for its being in the residential area as soon it will be shifted from there and the process for that is underway.
“The authorities concerned are already working in the direction of shifting the depot to Bajalta and the process for that attained a pace after the State came under Governor’s Rule,” sources said adding that recently the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Jammu under Section 9 of Land Acquisition Act has got a notice published in print media in this regard.
Sources further informed that earlier in November 2016, the then DC Jammu had issued a notice under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act inviting objections and since then the process is underway.
Experts opined that there are a number of reasons behind shifting of the present depot.
“The present depot was made in the year 1981 or before and at that time the demand of the oil was limited in the State. Now as the population in J&K State has increased manifolds, the need for oil too has increased to a large extent and so a much bigger depot is required now to meet the increased oil needs in the State,” the experts said.
They also said that the existing space is not enough to accommodate a bigger depot as is required at present and this has also necessitated the shifting.
“Next, the petroleum oil depot should be out from the city and residential areas. As the Jammu city has expanded to a large extent and there is a thick residential area near the present depot so this has too necessitated the shifting,” the experts further said.
They maintained that as the Jammu Railway Station is planning its expansion, the Government too has ordered the depot to shift.
“More important is that there is only a single road leading to the depot and Food Corporation of India store is also on the same narrow road where daily about 1000-1500 trucks and tankers ply making it almost jammed,” the experts said, adding that if an emergency situation erupts then even a fire tender will have a tough time to reach the spot for rescue operation.
The experts said that taking all these factors in account, the J&K Government and oil companies decided in the year 2005 to shift the depot from its present location.
The sources informed that in the year 2008 a piece of land was identified at Vijaypur for new depot and as the process to acquire the land started, the Defence Ministry objected on the grounds that the place was unsafe as it was directly under the firing range of Pakistan.
“So Jammu or Udhampur districts were recommended for the purpose and in the year 2015 a fresh process of land identification was started with a prominent oil company becoming coordinator on behalf of all the three oil companies,” sources said.
They informed that ultimately 924 kanals of land was identified at Bajalta which satisfied the feasibility condition of Railway Station and also got environment and other clearances along with all required permissions.
Reliable sources informed that as soon as the Government gives the land after finalising the legal procedure, the depot will be shifted to Bajalta.
When contacted Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said that permission has been given to the acquire land at Bajalta and possibly within one and a half month the land will be acquired for the depot.
“After that it may take two or three months to shift the depot and I have given all the required permissions at my end,” he maintained.