|Army adds josh to firefighting at Baghjan|
DIBRUGARH, June 19 - In the face of locals getting increasingly restive at the “slow pace” of the firefighting activities, the presence of Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita, General Officer Commanding of the Dimapur-based 3 Corps of the Army at Baghjan today added some much needed colour and inspiration to those toiling there for days on end.
Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita, GOC, 3 Corps at Baghjan on Friday. Photo Courtesy: OIL
The work is time-consuming and slow because of the nature of work, but that’s hardly any comprehension for someone who is in a shelter in some rickety school building for three weeks.
Lt Gen Kalita today visited the Baghjan fire accident site to see for himself the fire capping preparations that is under way under specialist guidance. The Army has chipped in with the erection of a floating pontoon bridge across a water body beside the Maguri Beel. The structure is being put up by men of the 110, Engineers Regiment, attached to the Army at Dinjan. The structure would be used for laying of water pipelines and also for equipment deployment. The Army officer was briefed about the plan of action by members of the Crisis Management Team. He also had a discussion with a team of senior OIL and ONGC personnel, led by OIL’s Director (Exploration & Drilling) Dr P Chandrasekaran.
Lt Gen Kalita was accompanied by the GOC of the Dinjan-based Second Mountain Division, Maj Gen Sanjiv Chauhan and the Laipuli-based Commander of the 181 Mountain Brigade, Brigadier Rohit Sehgal. The Army officials, however, did not interact with the local population nor visit any of the relief shelters.
On the ongoing work of preparing for the final firefight and disaster mitigation activities, the Environment Impact Assessment study team from ERM India visited Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Maguri-Motapung Beel for sample collection again. The TERI team has installed one unit for Particular Matter, sulphur and nitrate measurements at Baghjan EPS. Installation of few more units units are on.
An OIL press release stated today that a joint inspection by TERI and OIL team is on for inspection and assessment of land and water bodies’ degradation or damage. These damages are to be taken up for bio-remediation. The Jorhat RRL team’s ‘broadband seismographs’ have been installed at Kaliapani and Limbuguri. They are studying the ground tremors. However, the scientists are yet to explain the continuing tremors, which have displaced about a thousand families in half a dozen villages.
Tinsukia Deputy Commissioner Bhaskar Pegu today visited several houses at Natungaon and had a first-hand experience of the incessant tremors that is rattling every home around the Maguri Beel. He said the NEIST(RRL) scientists are on the job, and hoped a solution would be found. He later went around the Guijan relief camps and interacted with the residents.
A team from the All Assam Muttuck Sanmilan, led by its working president Saroj Gohain, also visited the Guijan, Natungaon and Gottong areas and documented feedbacks from the locals. Gohain said the grievances would be compiled and handed over to the civil administration and OIL for redressal.
The OIL today stated that due to continuing work stoppage/blockades, the company has suffered a total production loss of 7,042 metric tonnes of crude oil and 9.23 MMSCM (ninety two lakh thirty thousand cubic metres) of natural gas till the end of day figures compiled for 18/6/20. Work stoppages and blockades are on at 33 oil wells and five gas wells in the Tinsukia district. OIL has not quantified the gas that is burning away at Baghjan from its BGR-5 well. Knowledgeable sources said BGR-5 has thrown up at least 20 lakh cubic metres of natural gas and condensates since May 27 till Friday evening.