BP Katakey Committee Recommendations
Baghjan blowout verdict: NGT flags violations by OIL, offers respite to affected
WHY IN NEWS:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 7, 2020, accepted the recommendations submitted by a court-appointed committee regarding compensation disbursal to the victims of Baghjan blowout in Assam’s Tinsukia on May 27 and subsequent fire on June 9.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Disaster Management
BP KATAKEY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
Sources : DownToEarth
The committee, led by former justice BP Katakey, submitted his preliminary findings of the blowout in Baghjan
- The May 27 blowout was followed by a well fire on June 9.
- The fire continues to burn and pollute the rural commons and habitats of endangered birds.
- The company has spent around Rs 150 crore, of which Rs 22.38 crore have been earmarked for rehabilitation and compensation of affected persons.
- More than 5,758 persons continue to be in seven relief camps near Baghjan village.
- The eight-member committee of experts concluded that the blowout and fire in the gas well could have been prevented by OIL .
- It recommended Rs 25 lakh as compensation for those the most affected.
- It calls for strict measures against OIL for environmental violations and disregard for the procedures.
- The committee found serious deficiencies of proper supervision of critical operation at well site .
- BOP is a specialised valve used to seal, control and monitor all blowouts — without having a confirmed and tested secondary safety barrier to block the gases in the event of a leak.
- OIL has alleged that the court-appointed committee ignored the role of the drilling contractor which may have been responsible for the blowout.
- According to the procedure, cement plugs or barriers used need at least 48 hours of no activity on the site.
The committee also received short transcripts of 83 interviews from the residents of 11 villages in the vicinity of the site of incident.
THE REPORT STATED
- All interviewees reported health-related impacts of the blowout.
- All of them unanimously mentioned adverse health impact such as breathing difficulty, headache from the incessant sound from the oil well.
- “This indicates that social distancing norms and sanitation facilities are under severe constrain as alleged by the local representatives.
- The committee recommended three categories of people affected, based on which compensation would be disbursed within 45 days of the NGT order.
- The committee also recommended that people left out of the list of affected persons should be added.
- Several measures have been recommended to conduct a multidisciplinary study looking the impacts.
- The committee has called for a strict compliance by OIL on the measures suggested to prevent future blowouts.
- Compensation already paid by OIL would be taken into account and excluded from the interim compensation.
- It has asked the district administration to conduct its ongoing survey on the losses faced by the victims and disburse the compensation.
- The panel also accepted the interim compensation to the affected families who have moved out of the relief camps after the blowout on May 27.