Agri Business

ONGC crude seeps into paddy fields in Nagapattinam district

PTI Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu) | Updated on November 08, 2012 Published on November 03, 2012

Crude oil spill washed along Kohur irrigation channel in the midst of paddy fields at Adiakkamangalam in Kilvelur. The crude oil spill was from the decommissioned ONGC-Cauvery Asset trunkline in Nagapattinam.

Crude oil from an abandoned Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) owned pipeline seeped into some paddy fields in a village in the district today, triggering panic among farmers.

Farmers of Anaimangalam village near Kilvelur were shocked to find crude oil layer over their fields this morning and their crops damaged due to the oil spill.

The ONGC Cauvery Project headquartered at Karaikal has its production installation at the village and pipelines, which run through Anaimangalam, Karumangudi and Pakkur villages, had been laid for transporting the crude oil to the CPCL’s refinery at another nearby village.

Alleging that the pipelines had developed breaches leading to the spill, three of the affected farmers lodged a complaint with police stating that crude oil had seeped into ten acres of their paddy fields.

However, ONGC authorities pointed out that there were no breaches or cracks in any of the pipelines being used in production at present.

Analysis by ONGC Engineers has revealed that the crude oil seeped from an old pipeline, running deep down near the paddy fields, which was abandoned during September this year, after detection of oil leak. They had replaced it with a new one, ONGC sources said.

“Preliminary investigation suggests that the oil deposit due to that seepage would have surfaced now, probably due to the recent heavy rains,” said an ONGC official.

Kilvelur area recorded the highest rainfall in the district early this week due to cyclone ‘Nilam.’

“Our Engineers are analysing the situation and will take steps to remove the oil layers from paddy fields. Steps have also been taken to find a permanent solution and ensure that farmers do not face any further issues,” the official said.

The extent of damage, exact number of acres affected is being assessed, the official said, adding, suitable compensation would be offered.

President of Farmers Protection Forum, Dhanapalan said the oil spill would turn the farmland unusable for three years minimum.

He demanded that ONGC thoroughly check its pipelines and ensure that such incidents do not recur.

Published on November 03, 2012
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