Baghjan
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A Singapore-based firm M/s Alert Disaster Control is being mobilised and two experts are expected to reach Baghjan to minimize uncontrolled gas blowout from a malfunctioning well of OIL in Tinsukia district.

“All safety and security measures are continuously being monitored to protect surrounding villagers and their properties, working teams. Protection of the environment would be paramount while carrying out the well control operation,” the OIL said.

“Pumping of water to the well through the casing valve is in progress to minimize chances of fire.”

“Digging of water reservoir near well site plinth & preparation of the area for placement of two numbers of 2500 gallons capacity pump is in progress to facilitate huge quantity of water that will be required at the time capping of the well. 60% of the job completed,” OIL stated in a press statement.

Testing of equipment required for controlling of the well is in progress.

It has been assessed that approach to the vicinity of the well would not be safe due to gas gushing at high pressures.

Hence, necessary equipment are being mobilised and fit for purpose equipment (hydraulically driven mechanical transporter) are being fabricated at OIL workshop under the supervision of OIL and ONGC CMT teams. fabrication job is in progress.

Arrangement for collection of required quantity of water from the source is in progress.

“OIL fire service and with mutual aids are stationed 24×7 at site since May 27, for continuously water jacketing the well to avert any eventuality.”

“Presence of gas and air & water quality are being monitored at constant interval at strategic points. Layers of condensate deposited near the vicinity of the site are being picked up,” said Jayant Bormudoi, senior manager of OIL’s corporate communications.

Around 1,610 families have been evacuated from the nearby affected areas and have been given shelter in four relief camps set up at Baghjan Dighulturrang LP School, St. Joseph School – Baghjan Tea Estate, Gateline LP School, Dighultarrang and No.1 Baghjan Gaon L P School .

All necessary supports for stay, food (including baby food), water, toilets, electricity and medical have been provided at the relief camps with support from the district administration and local organizations.

Alternate relief camp at Bandarkhati has been kept ready as standby relief camp to accommodate more people, if required.

Amar Nath, joint secretary, MoPNG has also reached Duliajan and a review meeting was at held at the DC office in Tinsukia with Assam minister of state for tea tribes welfare Sanjay Kishan, Tinsukia DC, SP( in-charge) of Tinsukia.

DFO-Tinsukia (Wildlife Division), officer from Assam State Pollution Control Board, Dibrugarh and senior officials from OIL were also present at the meeting.

Amar Nath, joint secretary , MoPNG along with Biswajit Roy, D (HR&BD), OIL visited the well site on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the locals of the area staged protest against the OIL for destroying the biodiversity of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

Nirantar Gohain, an environmentalist said, “Oil India Limited should provide adequate compensation to the affected families and they should provide environmental clearance,”

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com