Guwahati, August 9: : The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in an order dated August 6 has endorsed a slew of recommendations as put forward by an eight-member expert committee which it had constituted to look into the May 27 Baghjan blowout incident and the subsequent fire of June 9.

But even with the fire at Baghjan is yet to be doused, battle swords have already been drawn out between local grassroot activists and energy giant Oil India Limited (OIL), The Wire reported.

The fossil fuel corporate, in a response to the interim report, called one Niranta Gohain, an activist from Baghjan, a ‘so-called environmentalist’. It also called Gohain’s statement in the interim report as not being ‘credible’.

The media dubbed the endorsement of the interim report as a ‘rejection to OIL’s objections to the interim report’ – as highlighted by local English daily Assam Tribune.

OIL objected to the expert committee’s interim report: “The observations of the committee is based on a review of secondary data which needs to be further verified. No site visit was undertaken.”

It added Gohain’s name as a ‘so-called environmentalist’ and his statement being not ‘credible’ as part of its objections.

The NGT, in its order pertaining to the case filed by one Bonani Kakkar and others, which were filed in June against OIL, stated:

“The Committee has thereafter made its observations with reference to various terms of reference as follows: There was a deficiency in understanding of the gravity of a critical operation like removal of BOP without having a confirmed and tested secondary safety barrier. There was a deficiency in proper planning of critical operations. There was a clear mismatch between Planning and its Execution at site and deviations from the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). There were serious deficiencies of proper level of supervision of critical operation at the well site both from the Contractor as well as from OIL.”

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