Water bodies and creeks in the close vicinity of
Odisha’s bustling industrial hub in Paradip Port Township have come under the
adverse effect of man-made pollution following oil spills from Indian Oil’s
The latest leakage reported today 18 April 2017 comes
close on the heels of similar pipeline outflows in recent past, raising serious
question on the safety and security mechanism put in place by the state-run oil
The State Pollution Control Board engineers have
collected samples of contaminated water from water bodies and have sent it for
laboratory test. The oil company has been served a notice and has been directed
to furnish a compliance report to stop oil spill in future, SPCB regional
officer Prasant Kumar Kar said.
Unless the IOC initiates measures to prevent leakage,
penal action in accordance with pollution control act would be taken against
the oil company, he said.
“The pipelines were damaged by miscreants who were
active members of oil theft racket active in Paradip. Police had swung into
action to nab the culprits. The IOCL needs to invigorate its security setup and
assist the police to avert recurrence of leakage”, said Paradip Additional
Superintendent of Police, Gadadhar Pradhani.
After police made spot-inquiry, it has been found that
the miscreants cut the 8 MM thickness pipelines by drilling machines for
pilfering the oil. Afterwards they attached their own pipe in the hole, the
other end of which led to many barrels to load oils. They attached a valve to
the mouth of the pipe so that it could work as a tap for extracting fuel at
will, said police.
The officials of Indian Oil Corporation Limited are
trying their best to repair the oil pipelines as soon as possible. Miscreants
damaged the pipelines to pilfer oil. We have taken up the matter with the
police. There has been recurrence of such incidents and it is causing precious
loss of oil, said an official of IOCL.
The oil company has been directed to install optical
fibre system of pipelines which are passing through the port township areas.
Such system could easily detect leakage points”, said SPCB officials.
Pipelines carrying petrol, diesel and kerosene were
found to have cracked and ruptured at least on six occasions since past 18
months. Despite directions issued to Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to
stop recurrence of such incidents, pipeline leakage continues to occur. The oil
leakage has been a constant source of water pollution in areas lying on the
outskirts of Port Township.
Major length of oil pipelines are lying in close
vicinity of agricultural land and water bodies where oil spills usually damage
water, land and crops. Toxic substances contained in oil tend to
accumulate in plants and animals, which consequentially threaten the health of
humans who consume the polluted plants.
Incidents of pipeline rupture are being reported at periodic
intervals along the 11 Kilo Metre long underground pipelines which carry
refined petroleum products from north oil jetty to oil terminal. Installation
of these pipelines dates back to nearly three decades. These have turned old
and have become prone to leakage. So these need to be replaced. We have
directed the pipeline division officials of IOCL to install optical fibre
pipelines for easy detection of leakage points so that contamination of water
bodies due to oil spill could be curbed, said SPCB regional officer, Kar.
Though the pipelines have gone old, still it’s
leak-proof. However local anti-social elements who are operating spurious oil
racket are found to have ruptured intentionally with mala fide intention. The
company has taken up the matter with local police. Though law-breakers have
been arrested in the past, the acts of damage to the pipelines are still going
on, said an official of IOCL’s pipeline division.