Baghjan fire
Baghjan fire.

Oil India Limited (OIL) will file a writ petition in the Gauhati High Court challenging the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA)’s order to shut down the Baghjan oil field in Tinsukia district.

The PCBA had issued a closure notice to Oil India Limited (OIL) on June 19 directing it to close down all its production, including drilling operations at Baghjan oil field and to take all necessary measures for ‘extinguishing’ the fire from the well.

“The Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) served a closure notice directing OIL to close down all the production as well as drilling operations of all installations of Baghjan oilfield forthwith,” OIL said on Sunday.

“Now, OIL is intending to file a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court challenging the order passed by PCBA,” the OIL added.

The PCBA in its notice had mentioned that Oil India Limited 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.

On the other hand, after the tripartite meeting held at Tinsukia DC office on Saturday, all producing oil and gas wells under Baghjan EPS, which were forcefully stopped by protesters following the blowout have resumed operations.

However, drilling and workover operations in 5 more areas, which are outside the Baghjan area, are still stopped or blocked by protesters.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent of work on the Bailey bridge constructed by the Army’s 3 Corps near the Baghjan blowout site has been completed while preparation for capping the well is in progress.

“Mobilisation of tested equipment to blowout site is being carried out,” OIL said.

“Transportation of tested equipment, machinery, auxiliaries from OIL CMT and equipment yard to the well site is underway.90 per cent job of construction of Bailey bridge over the nearby pond is completed,” OIL added

“The digging of the reservoir of 12,000 KL capacity is completed. Connection of filling line from Dangori river to reservoir is also completed,” it further said.

“Civil work to raise the boundary of the reservoir to prevent overflow is underway,” OIL further said.

Progress has been hampered due to rain. Civil works are in progress for the development of debris lay down and kill pump area. Development of an area for temporary workshop facility near Baghjan EPS is also in progress,” OIL further said.

Meanwhile, one of the relief camp inmates who was referred to OIL hospital on June 18 with complaints of prolonged fever, cough, decreased appetite and severe weakness, expired on Saturday.

OIL said that the person was suffering from chronic respiratory tract infection with sepsis and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Avik Chakraborty

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