23 Sept. 2020-Hyderabad: On Tuesday, the High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy heard a public interest litigation seeking to direct the State Government to withdraw the proposal to install an electrical substation, which is part of the transmission system.
The allegation of the petitioner is that the proposed site of that installation is so close to a petroleum outlet exclusively utilised by the State government for the Police Department. Moreover, nearby a Government maternity hospital is located, therefore, the proposed installation would be of great danger to the locality and public at large, asserts the plea.
Chief Justice RS Chauhan pointed out that if the petrol pump blows out in future, and right next to it is a substation, how do you protect the substation from the explosion. If both the tanks explode simultaneously, what will be the extent of the explosion. How will you prevent that explosion from adversely affecting the gas substation, that is what the Court wants now, CJ stated.
Moreover, this is the petrol pump that supplies the petrol to the police department vehicles, the first thing that any terrorist group does is to target that petrol pump. If they attack in future, that petrol pump explodes, police will be denied petrol supplies from one of the pumps. It is likely to adversely affect the substation which is supplying the power to the entire old city of Hyderabad, terrorists will achieve two targets in one goal, Chief Justice pointed out.
One explosion of the petrol pump and the terrorist group can paralyse the old city of Hyderabad, and that aspect, nobody is looking into the point of security. Even the State Fire Services Director General is looking at it from the point of view, what happens if a terrorist attack happens in Hyderabad. And this petrol pump is blown up, who will save the maternity hospital and who will save the petrol pump, and the substation.
Think about the security risk you are running, CJ Chauhan asserted. Respondent Counsel Ramachandra Rao informed the Court that the license of the petrol pump that supplies petrol to the police department would expire on Dec 31. Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy suggested that the Government can make alternate arrangements and not wait till December 31. ‘The court will modify the interim order. Take expeditious steps. It’s only the paperwork, you can do the job in two weeks’, Justice Vijaysen added. Respondent counsel Ramachandra Rao requested the Court to give two weeks time to get further instructions from the higher authorities of the State Government. The Court adjourned the matter October 5.