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Oil India Limited (OIL) CMD Sushil Chandra Mishra on Monday handed over cheque of Rs 30 lakh each to the families of the two deceased OIL firefighters.

OIL firefighters Tikheswar Gohain and Durlov Gogoi were killed in the June 9 Baghjan gas well inferno.

The bodies of the two firefighters, one of which was an accomplished state level footballer, were recovered from a pond near the Baghjan gas well by NDRF personnel on June 10.

Mishra handed over the cheques, issued under OIL’s social security scheme, to the wives of the two firefighters at their residences in Duliajan and Namrup respectively.

Assam industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Union MoS for food processing industries Rameswar Teli, state tea tribes welfare minister Sanjay Kishan, Dibrugarh DC Pallav Gopal Jha, SP Sreejith T, Tinsukia DC Bhaskar Pegu, SP Shiladitya Chetia and local MLAs were also present.

On Sunday, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal during his visit to Baghjan along with union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan remembered the sacrifices of the two firefighters and paid homage to them in his speech.

Meanwhile, preparation for capping the Baghjan gas well has been underway under the direction of the 6-member foreign expert team from Alert Disaster Control.

Monday was the 20th day of the May 27 Baghjan blowout incident.

Testing job is completed for one of the two OIL CMT high-discharge water pumps of capacity 2,500 GPM, to be used for the well control operation.

Testing of the other pump is also in progress.

“Civil work of digging and extension of the second CMT water reservoir (capacity 12,000 KL) near kill pump area to accommodate more volume of water is in progress,” OIL said in a statement.

Civil work for development of debris lay down, bunk house placement and kill pump area is also in progress.

“Placement of additional water pump at water pump station at Dangori river bank is completed and testing of the same is in progress,” it added.

“Fabrication job of heat shields required for reducing heat hazards to working personnel at site is in progress at OIL’s engineering workshop at Duliajan,” OIL stated.

In view of urgency of the operation to control the well the Tinsukia deputy commissioner has requested the service of the Army’s 2 Mountain division to construct a bridge of around 150 metre length over a water body adjacent to the blowout well.

Mobilisation of materials and personnel from 3 Corps of the Army, required for logistics and construction of a bridge at Baghjan site, is underway from Misamari and Tezu to Baghjan.

OIL said due to agitational programmes, there was production loss of 487 MT of crude oil and 0.45 MMSCM of natural gas as reported on June 14.

The cumulative production loss since May 27 due to bandhs and blockades has been pegged at 5386 MT of crude oil and 7.04 MMSCM of natural gas.

Avik Chakraborty

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