ITAGAR, July 8: The State level monitoring and vigilance committee under geology and mining department in a report has recommended the state government to review extension of lease period of Kharsang Oil Field in Changlang district to Geo Enpro Pvt Ltd for its incompetency to deal with exigencies and crisis. The committee’s chairman Toko Anil in its report while referring to the blow out in gas well No 60 in the oil field on June 30 last, stated that the incident was manmade due to utter negligence and incompetency of the company.
Anil, who went to the site of the incident on July 5 last for inspection accompanied by circle officer and OC Kharsang police station, alleged that the company had utterly failed on its corporate social and environmental responsibilities while taking the incident lightly.
The report, a copy of which was made available to Press stated that the after the blow out was reported the engineers of the company attempted to control the situation but failed. Subsequently, experts and engineers were requisitioned from Oil India Ltd and ONGC Sivsagar in Assam but they also failed to plug in the gas leakage.
“A high alert was sounded and around 2000 people living in five villages in the vicinity of the oil field were evacuated while in a few villages residents were debarred from cooking for days because of fear of sparking fire and explosion,” the report said.
Terming the situation as volatile till his visit, Anil in his report pointed out that the sound of the gas leakage at high pressure and huge quantity could be heard from a distance of 4-5 kilometers.
“As the gas contains more than 90 per cent highly inflammable methane gas, its impact on the environment, especially to the surrounding reserve forest is immense and detrimental to the health of flora and fau. The villagers are still under fear psychosis and many man days have been lost as the people could not go to work,” the report revealed.
The chairman further recommended the state government to impose a fine to the tune of 100 crore to the company to compensate the serious damage it caused to the environment and the local villagers.
“The amount should be deterring so that it sets an example and compel the companies to fall in line and take environmental and social safety issues seriously,” Anil said.
He said, the company floated a tender for gas based power plant to be set up at Kharsang where many companies including a few local companies participated in the tender process. But to utter dismay, till date the company had not awarded the work to any company.
“Kharsang area is reeling under acute power shortage and the apathy of the company in awarding the contract is highly questioble. Had it allotted the gas for power generation, the maintence and worthiness of gas well would have been ensures. Moreover, despite repeated instructions to curtail the gas flaring by using it for power generation, the company seems to be not interested,” the report added.