DIBRUGARH, June 13 - In the final recce operation to commence the fire taming exercise at Baghjan, members of the Crisis Management Team, accompanied by the Alert-Singapore experts, made a joint visit to accident site.
The Alert team was joined by three more experts from USA and Canada who reached Duliajan late last night.
As per plan to contain the fire, a large quantity of water would be required during the fire taming exercise, which would be drawn from the adjacent Dangori River. Heavy duty pumps and rigs for this have already been moved in to Baghjan from the OIL workshop at Duliajan and additional equipment are being brought in from ONGC facilities in Sivasagar and Vishakhapatnam. Two high discharge water pumps, already placed at the site, are now ready for testing. Moreover, two reservoirs, one of 30 lakh litre capacity and another of 12 crore litre capacity have been excavated.
Meanwhile, inmates of all the 15 relief camps (three in Guijan and 12 in Baghjan) are being provided with food, lighting, drinking water, sanitation facilities by both OIL and the Tinsukia district administration. Some medical facilities are also being offered by OIL, local volunteers and the Tinsukia civil administration, according to an OIL official.
OIL�s Director (Human Resource and Business Development) Biswajit Roy and Executive Director (Human Resource) Prasanta Barkakaty also visited a few relief camps at Baghjan and interacted with the inmates.
They were accompanied by local DIG Jitmol Doley and SP Shiladitya Chetia, and a colonel of the Assam Regiment of the Army. Roy assured the inmates of the camps that OIL is committed to provide every facility required at camps with help of district administration.
The OIL�s public relations department today informed in a press release that there was production loss of 500 metric tonnes of crude oil from 23 oil wells and 0.46 MMSCM of natural gas from three gas wells till the end of day production data for June 12 due to various agitation programs in the Tinsukia district.
At Baghjan today, pro-talks ULFA leader Jiten Dutta met a number of inmates of the relief camps and told them that the �Assamese society was with them�. Regretting that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has not yet found time to visit the distressed native population of Upper Assam, Dutta said that OIL must be compelled to fully compensate and rehabilitate all the affected families of the Baghjan disaster.
�Our people in the greater Baghjan area spent more than 40-50 years to develop agriculture and horticulture there and all this will have to be accounted for. Our people will also have to be looked after for the next 40 years by OIL and the government,� he said. He also warned that unless these and employment avenues for the people are assured, OIL activities won�t be allowed at Baghjan and Barekuri.
Earlier today, about 200 Congress workers, led by APCC president Ripun Bora staged a sit-in demonstration near Thana Chariali at Tinsukia demanding justice to the Baghjan disaster-affected families. They were also protesting illegal coal mining near Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary at Saleki and other places around Margherita and Ledo. Local Congress leaders like Pronab Baruah, Birinchi Neog, Babul Purkayastha and Prem Upadhyaya were seen at the agitation venue.