Rome, April 20 - The Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) on Thursday rejected an appeal by the Puglia region against a government order to uproot and replant olive trees for the construction of the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP). On April 6 the Lazio TAR suspended an environment ministry permit for the removal of olive trees in the area of the work site for the TAP pipeline in Melendugno, Puglia, pending today's hearing on the appeal against the permit. On April 10 Industry Minister Carlo Calenda ruled out a change of location for the TAP project in Puglia following big protests over the removal of olive trees. "Changing now would mean saying that we won't do it, but it is fundamentally important that we do," Calenda told reporters in Rome. "Fourteen different alternatives were discussed for the arrival site. The infrastructure is in the implementation phase and the debate lasted a very long time". The TAP is set to bring Caspian gas from Azerbaijan to Europe. Under the plan, the olive trees will later be replanted in the same place.
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