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AASU, Science Society express concern over Baghjan incident

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 10 - Expressing serious concerns at the Baghjan incident, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today asked the Union government, the State government and OIL authorities to take all necessary steps immediately, before any further damage is caused to human life or the biodiversity of the area.

�The gas leakage started on May 27, yet the incidents did not get the adequate attention either from the government or the OIL authorities, leading to such a disaster. Fourteen days is not a short period. It shows that the Centre, the State government or the OIL did not learn any lesson from a similar blowout at Dikom in 2005,� the AASU said.

�It goes without saying that oil and gas explorers like the OIL and the ONGC must have a fail-proof disaster management expertise that needs to be updated with latest technology at regular intervals. Despite its so-called attempts for two weeks, the OIL experts failed to control the gas leakage that led to the massive fire. As a result, two firefighters, Durlov Gogoi and Tileswar Gohain, have lost their lives,� AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi stated.

The student body demanded immediate and adequate compensation for the deceased.

�It�s once again established that while the Central government is always ready to exploit our resources, it is least bothered to address the associated problems. The late response and careless attitude of the Union government towards this incident is condemnable,� AASU chief advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya stated.

Assam Science Society concern: Meanwhile, expressing concern at the explosion that occurred on Tuesday at the blowout site in Well No 5 of Oil India Limited�s Baghjan oilfield in Tinsukia district, the Assam Science Society today called upon the government to take immediate steps to deploy companies or individuals having adequate expertise to control the fire.

The society has also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

In a statement, Assam Science Society president Dr Joyanti Chutiya added that steps should also be taken to bring about adequate amendments in the disaster management protocol governing companies like OIL and ONGC to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

The society has demanded that adequate compensation be provided to the affected families. �For the sake of preservation of flora and fauna, drilling rights in the vicinity of Dibru-Saikhowa should be cancelled. Adequate security measures for the local population should be put in place near all the wells of OIL,� Dr Chutiya stated.

The society also expressed its condolence over the death of two OIL staff members in the incident and called upon the government to provide adequate compensation to the next of kin of the victims.

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