Assam's Baghjan Mishap
Eastern Panorama|July 2020
The blowout incident at the Baghjan oilfield of the Oil India Limited (LTD) is saddening. This can well be considered as one of the worst industrial disasters which the country has witnessed in the recent times. In other words, this is the second such major leaking incident since 2005 – let alone several other similar incidents of oil and gas spill in the recent past.
Dwaipayan Dasgupta

Notably, the Baghjan gas leak happening is literally a two-part story, but, depressingly, both incidents have been a bitter pill to swallow for the people, especially those who live in villages within two kms radius of the uncontrollable gas outflow site. To argue precisely, both the incidents have almost irreversibly damaged a lot of still-existing precious resources --cropland, water-bodies, a national park et al in its vicinity but have also taken heavy toll on the villagers’ livelihoods.

It needs to be mentioned here that the spark for the brewing crisis at the Baghjan gas and oil well in Tinsukia district was the sudden major up-rush occurring there on May 27. Since then, natural gas has been uncontrollably spewing from a rig of the Oil India Limited at the site triggering fear and panic amongst the local inhabitants. The gas leak continued unabated for a little less than a fortnight before till the well finally caught fire on June 9. But it is unfortunate that during the prolonged period the unbridled release of natural gas could not be put at check maybe because the country’s petroleum industry lacks such an expertise to cap the well head notwithstanding its having over a hundred years of history of oil exploration, or because of the alleged failure of a private drilling firm which was reportedly engaged in exploration but did not have a much-needed quick disaster management and mitigation mechanism in place to face up to any emergency situation. A recent report suggested that the same company was even advised by a technical team of the OIL after totally cementing a new sand reservoir from which gas was to be produced on May 26, a day before the oil well went into flames, not to work on the cemented structure before 48 hours. But the company instead, allegedly started working on that structure on May 27 to expedite the job, leading to the gasleak.

The crisis reveals that the OIL was reportedly undertaking workout operations at Baghjan on May 27 when around 10.30 am, the blowout took place in its gas well resulting in the flow of gas. The well started spewing gas uncontrollably since then. A conscious segment of the Baghjan population was of the opinion that the disaster had happened due to the alleged procrastination in the routine check and maintenance of the gas rig by the officials and staff of the outsourcing firm, John Energy Pvt. Limited. The group was confident that had they at the very beginning put in serious efforts to cap the well, it could have possibly been avoided. Their allegations against them were genuine and well manifested in the suspension of dereliction of duty as also in the issuance of show-cause notice against the drilling company.

If the available media reports are anything to go by, one can say for certain that the first major blowout at Baghjan of May 27 was much too devastating.

The uncontrolled release of natural gas had affected many families, and caused irreparable damage to the adjoining Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, located about only 900 metres from the gas well.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM EASTERN PANORAMAView All

Tribute To the Dada of Indian Politics

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, aged 84, passed away on 31 August evening after prolonged illness. He was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment on August 10 and was operated the same day for removal of a clot in his brain. He later had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection.

2 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

Salute to the Silent Warriors!

The Army Dog Unit, fondly called “The Silent Warriors”, has time and again proven to be an asset for the security forces.

1 min read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

THE WATER BOMB TICKING

Tick-Tocking Anti-India Games, China Now Aims to Deluge the Northeast Amlan Home Chowdhury

4 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

Submergence Tolerant: Assam

It took 10 years time for Assam government to make the state’s rice farmers shift to new generation crop – Submergence tolerant…. and finally the concept is now popular at least among 60 percent of farmers of the flood-hit districts.

2 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

RECALLING - THE MAN OF GREAT VIRTUES P.A.SANGMA

As September approaches there begins a change in Delhi, morning becomes cooler, midday sun a bit friendly, humidity too pretends to be packing off and a sense of an all-pervasive thermal comfortability becomes visible outdoors. I still remember P A Sangma was born on 1st September 1947and the remembrance takes me to look back and a montages of memories come crowding in: some events are still clear while some got blurred, perhaps the inner flash is partly diffused.

5 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

NAGAON PAPER MILL

The Lost Glory of Assam

2 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

AYURVEDA

An Age-old Indian Intellectual Property in Management of COVID-19

4 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

Ayodhya

Splendid Spiritual Destination Development Takes Off

6 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

Kamala To Contest U.S. Poll

First black & Indian American Woman to contest on Democratic Ticket

10 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020

Overseas Racket In Wild Life Trafficking

Barak Valley for its strategic location bordering Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and the district of Dima Hasao has been infamous for it being a corridor of extremists, smugglers, illegal transportation of Burmese betel nuts, black diamond and now trafficking in wild life with overseas connections.

4 mins read
Eastern Panorama
September 2020
RELATED STORIES

Region To Region

Region To Region

10+ mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

YOGA & PEACE

DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

Create the habit of meditation

CHIRAG KULKARNI, Co-Founder and CMO of Medly Pharmacies in the USA, speaks with RISHIKA SHARMA about creating a regular meditation practice, so as to make it a habit. He also shares how meditation has benefited both his personal and professional life.

7 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
January 2021

SHIA'S PRIVATE TEMPLE OF DOOM!

Indiana Jones gig derailed by abuse scandal

2 mins read
Globe
January 11, 2021

Let's Dish

"Food Raconteur” Ashok Nageshwaran wants to tell you a story.

2 mins read
DesignSTL
January/February 2021

THE MAKING OF A MODEL MINORITY

Indian Americans rarely stop to ask why our entrance into American society has been so rapid—or to consider what we have in common with other nonwhite Americans.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
January - February 2021

Interconnectedness

In 2017, DR. VANDANA SHIVA spoke with KIM HUGHES about the sacredness of the Earth, the work she has been doing to bring awareness and change in the field of sustainable agriculture, and the importance of understanding our interconnectedness with Nature, and how we can change the way we eat.

8 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
December 2020

DIAMONDS - A Luxury Gem Steeped in Fact & Fable

The diamond is one fabled gemstone! For example, google “Hope Diamond” to see all the legends associated with just this one stone said to bring misfortune to its owners.

2 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
January 2021

Women's World

Brown Sugaa and Medusa

2 mins read
Born To Ride Southeast Magazine
December 2020

Women's World

Brown Sugaa and Medusa

2 mins read
Born To Ride Florida
December 2020