The eight-member committee formed by the National Green Tribunal has flagged a series of violations in the company’s Baghjan project in Assam’s Tinsukia where a gas well erupted on May 27.
The report blamed “deficiency in understanding” and “proper planning of critical operations” for the blowout. “There was a clear mismatch between planning and its execution at site and deviations from the standard operating procedure. There were serious deficiencies, of proper levels of supervision of critical operation at the well site, both from the contractor as well as from OIL,” it said.
The panel — headed by former Gauhati high court judge Brojendra Prasad Katakey and formed on June 24 after OIL’s well No. 5 suffered a blowout — said, “Based on the preliminary assessment to date, the committee is of the unanimous opinion that the Well Baghjan-5 blowout and explosion was preventable.”
According to the report, the panel found “conclusive evidence” of “violations and non-compliance by OIL of key environmental safeguards and safety oversight that appears to render the environmental protections” guaranteed under various laws “ineffective.”
The committee has recommended interim compensation to the affected families: Rs 25 lakh for houses that were completely destroyed, Rs 10 lakh for those severely damaged, and Rs 2.5 lakh for those moderately damaged.