Congress MP Writes to PM Modi Seeking Probe Into Assam Gas Tragedy

The party has demanded financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each for the families affected by the leak.

Published12 Jun 2020, 07:09 AM IST
2 min read

Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 11 June, demanding a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the families affected by a gas leak at an oil well owned by Oil India Limited (OIL) in Assam's Tinsukia district.

The MP also demanded a "high-level probe" into the incident and strict action against those found responsible, reported news agency PTI.

The Assam unit of the Congress party submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the state's Governor, Jagdish Mukhi, alleging that the Union Petroleum Ministry was not taking the gas leak, in which two of OIL's firefighters lost their lives, seriously.

"Till now neither the Minister of Petroleum nor any senior officer from the ministry with experts has visited the spot", said the memorandum.

It demanded that the ministry send a team of experts to the ground in order to work towards restoring normalcy on a war footing.

In a separate letter to the state's Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Gogoi also brought up the damage to the ecology and livelihoods caused by the gas blowout.

"The disruption has caused a serious threat among the local people and damaged the flora and fauna of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, which is providing a secure home to wide-ranging fauna, including birds and aquatic species. The floating crude oil, as a result of the explosion, is a definite threat to the area's rich biodiversity", wrote Gogoi in the letter.

Oil well number five of OIL located in Baghjan in the Tinsukia district of Assam was leaking from 27 May before exploding and breaking into a blaze on 9 June. Over 7,000 people from the nearby villages have been evacuated by the Assam government so far.

Two OIL officials have been suspended for alleged negligence of duty and a show cause notice has been issued to John Energy Private Limited, a private operator of the well.

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