Government-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) was directed by National green tribunal to deposit a sum of Rs. 25 Crores with the District Magistrate, Tinsukia District, Assam, in connection to a massive Assam oil well fire.
The order has been passed in two original applications in case of assam oil well fire and moved by environmentalist Bonani Kakkar and Assam based NGO Wild Life & Environment Conservation Organisation.
The bench in Assam Oil well fire case has also constituted an eight-member Committee to look into the matter and submit its preliminary report to the Registry within 30 days.
The Committee in case of Assam Oil well fire will consist of:
- Justice BP Katakey (former Judge of the Gauhati High Court);
- Member Secretary, CPCB;
- Senior Expert from CSIR;
- Dr. Sarbeswar Kalita (Professor & HOD of Environment Science, Guwahati University);
- Abhay Kumar Johari (Former Member Biodiversity Board);
- Ajit Hazarika (ExChairman, ONGCL);
- Secretary/Senior Scientist, SPCB;
- District Magistrate, Tinsukia District, Assam
“In view of the prima facie case made out against OIL on the extent of damage caused to the environment and biodiversity, damage to both human and wildlife, public health and, having regard to the financial worth of the Company and the extent of damage, we direct the OIL to deposit an initial amount of ?25 Crores with the District Magistrate, Tinsukia District, Assam and shall abide by further orders of the Tribunal,”a bench comprised by Justice SP Wangdi (Judicial Member) and Siddhanta Das (Expert Member) ordered.
The Committee has been asked to examine on the following aspects in case of Assam Oil well fire:
- Cause of gas and oil leak;
- Extent of loss and damage caused to human life, wildlife, environment;
- Damage and health hazard caused to the public;
- Whether any contamination has been caused to water, air and soil of the area of the oil well and its vicinity;
- Extent of contamination of water of the Dibru river due to the oil spill;
- For the purpose of (iv) and (v) above, it may be necessary to get the air quality monitored and, samples of soil and ground water of the area as well as the water of river Dibru downstream of the oil spill tested;
- Impact on the eco sensitive zone of the DibruSaikhowa National Park and Maguri-Motapung Wetland;
- Impact on agriculture, Fishery and domestic animals in the area;
- Whether there were any mitigation measure put in place by OIL to offset the incidents such as the one in question;
- Persons responsible for the fire incidents and the cause of failure to prevent the incident;
- Assessment of compensation for the victims and cost of restitution of the damage caused to property and the environment;
- Preventive and remedial measures.
The matter of Assam Oil well fire will now be taken up for consideration on July 29.
Read the order here: