DIBRUGARH, June 4 - Public sector mega corporation Oil India Limited (OIL) has come in for severe criticism from environmentalists for not taking enough eco conservation measures. The recent Baghjan gas well mishap has further fuelled the criticism. The mishap, which occurred on May 27, continues to traumatize Baghjan residents of the Tinsukia district, even as the gas leak shows no sign of coming under control for the eighth day today.
OIL today announced that the company has engaged an �NABET accredited consultant� to carry out Environment Impact Assessment Study to examine impact on environment. The consultant team reached the site and work has started. OIL has also approached CSIR � National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur and Wild Life Institute of India, Dehradun for conducting a detailed impact assessment studies.
However, these belated steps are of no consolation to the residents of Baghjan, who are now having to live in temporary shelters, away from BGR-5, the gas well that is spitting out thousands of standard cubic metres of natural gas into the air, along with copious quantities of associated crude oil. About 3000 people have been provided shelter by OIL at four camps. The redeeming feature being that they are being satisfactorily looked after, with food, water and sanitation. A team from the NDRF has also been stationed in the vicinity.
Meanwhile, pumping of water to the well through the casing valve is in progress to minimize chances of fire. This has also flooded the adjacent lands, further infuriating the locals of the area. Groups of locals are seen intermittently staging protests, demanding much stricter safety and eco conservation steps in all further oil and gas exploration activities in the area. Baghjan and its surrounding areas are high gas producing fields, and OIL is expected to go the long mile to keep the production levels optimal there.
At Duliajan, fabrication of equipment called the hydraulically driven mechanical transporter is being carried out at the company�s workshop under supervision of the Crisis Management Team. Simultaneously, testing of equipment required for controlling of the gas well at Baghjan is in progress. At the well site, removal of debris is also being done on a war footing, to facilitate deployment of safety equipment.
The experts� team from the Singapore based firm, Alert Disaster Control has been mobilized with special movement permissions. These engineers are expected to reach the accident site by Friday.