DIBRUGARH, June 11 � If the loud hissing sound from the towering inferno of the Baghjan Well No. 5 isn�t intimidating enough for locals of the area, unexplained earthquake � like tremors are now terrorizing the citizens. Almost over thousand people from the Natungaon, Gotong and Kaliapani areas were hurriedly shifted to a shelter at the Guijan High School late last night, following the intermittent tremors.
The 150 to 200 feet tall tree of fire from the Baghjan gas well BGN-5 continues to burn and roar round the clock. As the condensate oil that was lying around for a radius of 1 km area from the well burnt out by late Tuesday, the flame is now contained, and is now a single point flame, which can be seen for miles around during the day itself.
By this evening, 640 terror stricken families from the three above named villages have been sheltered at three relief camps. The number of persons in these three camps total around 1500. The three shelters are at the Guijan High School, Guijan LP School and the Guijan Forest Inspection Bungalow. The Tinsukia district administration, led by Deputy Commissioner Bhaskar Pegu and Superintendent of Police Shiladitya Chetia, is actively helping the locals in their hour of distress.
Asked to explain the tremors, middle-aged housewife Mulapi Gohain of Natungaon said these are like earthquakes, and occurs almost every fifteen to twenty minutes. This apart, the tin roofs make a �horrible buzzing noise� making it impossible for the people to go to sleep. Several houses have developed cracks, she said. The relief camp at the Guijan High School was visited by the Tinsukia and Chabua MLAs, Sanjay Kisan and Binod Hazarika, respectively. Sanjay Kisan is also the Assam Minister of state for labour. Both have apprised the Chief Minister of the situation.
Helping the families are local NGOs and volunteers, said the All Assam Muttuck Sanmilan working president, Saroj Gohain.
Meanwhile, OIL has stated in a press release today that the roadmap for the well control operation by Experts� team from M/s Alert, Singapore along with ONGC CMT team is in the final stages of preparation. A veteran of the industry, VP Mahawar, Ex-Director (Onshore), ONGC is scheduled to join the crisis management team in Duliajan by Friday.
OIL�s Public Relations today also stated that the company lost 467 MT of crude oil production from 59 Nos. of producing wells on Wednesday, due to blockade by local people and various students� organizations at Makum, Barekuri, Hapjan, Lankashi, Nagajan, Hebeda, and Dhakul. Gas production was also affected.
Saroj Gohain told this newspaper today that the All Assam Muttuck Sanmilan will approach the Gauhati High Court with a PIL to question why Oil India Limited has failed miserably on safety aspects in the oilfields. He said it is the common man who suffers the most due to oilfield accidents.
Congress leader Pronab Baruah said he demands a judicial inquiry by a High Court Judge into the Baghjan oilfield disaster. He added that by merely placing two junior officials under suspension, OIL appears to be keen to hush up a proper investigation into the criminal safety lapses.
OIL on Tuesday had placed Drilling In Charge, Debajit Das and Chief Engineer (Oil Gas Production Services), Bidyut Paban Das under suspension after the Baghjan oilwell went up in flames.