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Singapore Experts reach Assam to deal with Oil well Blowout

Local residents ‘gherao’ Baghjan police station demanding immediate fixing of the blowout, alleges unnatural dead of human lives due to pollution possibly caused by the blowout.

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Guwahati: A team of experts from a Singapore-based emergency management firm reached Duliajan, the industrial town located in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district on Saturday for stopping the uncontrolled flow of gas from a malfunctioning well in Baghjan under Tinsukia district.

At the same time, the local residents of Baghjan on Saturday gheraoed Baghjan police station demanding immediate fixing of the oil well blowout.   

Talking to TIME8, Tinsukia superintendent of police Shiladitya Chetia said “Around 50 local residents gathered at the Baghjan police station demanding a meeting with the OIL authority. Accordingly, the district administration has fixed a meeting with the oil authority for Monday next.”

The SP informed Time8 that the team of experts from Singapore has already reached Duliajan. “Probably, they will visit the blowout site tomorrow. The Oil authority has been putting its all-out efforts to fix the problem. The experts will deal with the final capping of the blowout point,” Chetia.”

Local environment activist Nirantar Gohain said, “The number of villages affected by the blowout in gas well of Oil India Limited at Baghjan has been increasing. Consequently, we are also experiencing pollution induced cases of unnatural human dead in village like Notun Gaon, a nearby village of the blowout site. A good number of live stocks and other wild animals are also dying. Despite all these, the district administration is yet to feel the pulse of the mass sufferings.”

Gohain said, “We have been demanding the district administration to collect samples of air and water, dead bodies of wild as well as domestic animals. However, nobody pays attention. Situation is simply turning beyond control day and night.”  

However, SP Chetia said, “Series of complaints are coming from the affected villages. We are examining the validity of the complaints.”

The Oil authority, in an official statement on Saturday said, “No human life has been lost due to release of natural gas, crude oil spillage, or condensate in Oil’s operations in all these years. Utmost care has been taken to arrest condensate spillage to surrounding areas.”

The Oil authority stressed that there is no report of any such very serious health issues due to the blowout. “OIL has requested the DC, Tinsukia to investigate the matter so that the real cause of the deaths could be ascertained.”

The statement further said, “Poor weather condition is hampering the work progress for removal of equipment from well plinth and development of approach road for removing equipment from the site.”