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NGO fumes over Dikom fire

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OUR CORRESPONDENT   |   Dibrugarh   |   Published 21.09.05, 12:00 AM

Dibrugarh, Sept. 21: The fire at well number 15 at Dikom oil field continued to blaze for the seventh day today, while Oil India Limited (OIL) grappled with another crisis.

An influential environ-mental group, Nature?s Beckon, decided to highlight the ecological damage caused by the blowout at the international level.

Director of the NGO, Soumyadeep Datta, said its members had already collected soil and water samples from the neighbourhood of the well and sent them to experts for analysis.

?We will have to wait for the reports before making an assessment of the quantum of damage the blaze had caused. It is shocking that OIL has only learnt how to exploit resources and has never paid any attention to their management,? Datta said.

The NGO has already posted news clippings about the leak and the fire to reputed green groups such as Oilwatch and the International Union for Conservation for Nature. Various groups have also expressed their willingness to come down for an assessment at the ground level.

Meanwhile, digging the 14,000 cubic metre pond for the jet-cutting operation has been completed and efforts are on to pump in water from the Sesa river.

However, though firefighting equipment have arrived from all over the country, the crucial ones from Rajamundhry are still on the way. They reached Bhubaneswar this afternoon.

The firefighting operation is also proving to be a heavy burden on the OIL exchequer, with the four US experts from the Houston-based Boots and Coots company alone charging around $ 50,000 per day.

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