Modi also directed the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to study the incident and document the learnings to avoid the occurrence of such incidents in future
The well is expected to capped fully by July 7, said an official release
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a review meeting on Thursday to assess the Baghjan gas leak in Assam’s Tinsukia district where an oil well owned by OIL (Oil India Limited) has been flowing gas uncontrollably since May 27. And the gas had caught fire during cleaning operations on June 9, leading to a huge explosion. It took two days for firefighters to douse the flames. In the process, two fire personnel of OIL lost their lives.
The Baghjan gas leak has become one of the worst industrial accidents of the times and Assam’s worst oil well fire in a decade as it is yet to be controlled, despite efforts being made by ONGC, OIL, and foreign experts. The gas leak incident has been particularly dangerous because of the oilfield’s proximity to the Dibru Saikhowa national park, which is a biodiversity hotspot, and the famous migratory bird habitat Maguri-Motapung Beel in Baghjan.
PM asks Petroleum Ministry to study Baghjan gas leak
The Prime Minister assured the people of Assam through Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal that the government is fully committed to providing support, relief and rehabilitation to the affected families and is standing with the state government in this difficult time due to the unfortunate incident that has taken place. Modi also directed the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to study the incident and document the learnings to avoid the occurrence of such incidents in future. “Further capacities and expertise should be developed within our own organisations to avoid such mishaps in future and deal with such calamities in case they occur,” said the PM.
During the review meeting, it was informed that a detailed plan has been drawn with the help of Indian and foreign experts to control the flow of gas from the well and to cap it. The plan is being executed as per the prepared schedule and the well is expected to be capped by July 7, after taking all necessary safety precautions, said an official statement.
The review meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Sonowal, and other Union Ministers and senior officers of the government.
Reviewed the situation in the wake of the Baghjan fire tragedy in Assam. Centre and state government are working to ensure proper relief and rehabilitation to those affected. https://t.co/X0Cz6bVUDS— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2020
Families affected by the gas leak in Baghjan have been shifted to relief camps set up by the state government in collaboration with OIL. Approximately, 9,000 persons are living in these relief camps. As an immediate relief measure, Rs 30,000 each has been sanctioned for 1,610 families identified by the district administration.