BAGHJAN BLOWOUT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     16th August 2023        
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Context: The National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s principal bench ordered the Assam government to disburse interim compensation to the victims of Baghjan oil and gas leak that displaced close to 9,000 people in 2020 in Tinsukia district of Assam. 

Key Points

    • The blowout left a trail of devastation by a fire from an oil and gas rig, which raged for close to five months. 
    • It also impacted the fragile ecology of the villages situated close to Dibru Saikhowa National Park. 
    • The Baghjan blowout is considered as the longest running oil spill in the country, where lakhs of rupees had been spent to control the fire that gutted several houses in the village, spewing crude oil and condensates on homesteads, rivers and lakes.
    • NGT- Appointed Judge Katakey committee recommends legal action against Oil India Ltd. for violating various environmental as well industrial regulation.
    • The Baghjan oilfield, along with 26 oil wells in Assam was operating without mandatory environmental clearance when one of the well experienced a blowout on May 27, 2020 following by fire.
  • Katakay committee made interim recommendation in the status report submitted to the tribunal in which it sought legal action against Oil India Ltd. for violation the Air, water & Environment Protection Act.
  • Committee also stated that Oil India limited had violated the directive of the Central pollution Control Board.
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