Baghjan fire
Image credit - Twitter @nayak_bj

The Oil India Limited (OIL) on Monday said that the closure notice issued by the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) directing OIL to close down production as well as drilling operations in all its installations of Baghjan oilfield is in the process of being withdrawn.

The development came after a telephonic conversation between PCBA chairman Y Suryanarayana and OIL CMD Satish Chandra Mishra.

“Pollution Control Board, Assam served a closure notice directing OIL to close down all the production as well as drilling operations of all installations of Baghjan oilfield forthwith,” said an OIL statement.

“Chairman PCBA spoke to CMD OIL today and the closure notice is in the process of being lifted,” the statement added.

OIL’s senior manager (Corporate Communications) Jayant Bormudoi said, “OIL CMD had a telephonic discussion with PCBA chairman. We are expecting the new order from PCBA withdrawing the closure notice very shortly.”

“The closure notice was quite surprising as PCBA itself gave permission to operate the wells in the first place. How can they give permission as well as closure notice,” Bormudoi added.

On Sunday, OIL had stated that it will move the Gauhati High Court challenging the PCBA’s order to shut down the Baghjan oil field in Tinsukia district.

The PCBA in its notice stated that the national oil company has nonchalantly violated the provisions of the law in force causing pollution to the environment.

The board exercising its powers conferred upon it under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, directed OIL to close down all the production as well as drilling operations in all installations of Baghjan oil field and to take all necessary measures for extinguishing the fire, blow-out of the Baghjan-5 well.

Avik Chakraborty

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