FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
DIGBOI, January 16: Crimils, thieves and miscreants are having a field day in the oil town of Digboi in upper Assam. For easy money, they are now targeting oil pipelines that carry finished products from the Digboi New Tank Farm (NTF) to the Tinsukia termils. These 6–inch pipelines ske their way covering a distance of 18 km connecting NTF to the Tinsukia termils. Most of these thieves hail from Tinsukia and some other neighbouring areas.
The rampant stealing of oil products from the pipelines has put a question mark on the role of security agencies concerned in general and the AOD in particular. It is believed that these crimils have the support of some "unidentified forces" based in and around the area.
Underground tunnels were dug up by these thieves to get access to pipelines and till date several thousand litres of diesel have been siphoned off using sophisticated devices. These thieves have recently chosen places behind an existing concrete wall along the NH–38 at Bengali Balijan under Digboi Police Station.
The incident of oil pilferage came to light on Wednesday morning following oil seepage from one of these pipelines. When checked, a high–tech underground device connecting the pipeline was recovered. An artificial underground oil reservoir was also found with large amount of stolen oil.
After getting information, local police personnel, AOD security personnel and its officials rushed to the spot.
Now, the big question is: Why has the Corporation so far failed to combat the mece permanently despite its repeated occurrence?
"If loss and profit are the parameters of the organisation’s existence, the magement should have put extra effort to protect and preserve these pipelines, instead of spending lakhs and crores of rupees in the me of the organisation’s development, renovation, celebrations and CSR activities throughout the year," lamented Rameswar Dhanowar, former State minister while talking to The Sentinel.
Meanwhile, office bearers of the AOCLU also termed the incident "detrimental for the existence of the refinery" and expressed concern at the ubated instances of stealing.
However, no arrest has been reported in such cases, though police claim that investigation into the mece was on.