Assam is witnessing a Chernobyl like disaster since 09 June 2020. The Baghjan Oil well of Assam spewed Gas continuously for 14 days, which finally erupted in a massive blast. The enormous fire claimed many lives and is compared with the Chernobyl Disaster.
Assam comes under the North-east part of the country and is often ignored by national media. There are several instances where the North-east part of the country remains neglected. We recently witnessed Amphan Cyclone and Nisarg Cyclone in Odisha, Kolkata, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Proper media coverage was given to these incidents, unlike what the North-east region receives.
Public on Social Media
Netizens are backlashing for the same, and ‘Oil Belongs to Nation, Perils Belong to People are trending all over the internet. Social media users have made vows to ‘not forgive the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’ and held the Ministry of Environment and Climate change responsible for Chernobyl like a disaster.
Almost 25000 people from Tinsukia, Assam have been displaced to save their lives from the Baghjan Oil well disaster.
Why is the public furious?
After the World Environment Day, Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) passed the permit of oil drilling for Hydrocarbons in an area as close as 500 meters to a national park in Assam. This has led to the loss of wealthy biodiversity and valuable water system, making the people very furious.
The irreversible loss because of the disaster
It is noted that even after the Gas spewed for 14 days, nothing was done to prevent this situation ever after it was a clear sign of something like Chernobyl. Numbers of Fish, Gangetic dolphins, many birds, and many more have died due to the negligence. Today two fireman lost their lives in their mission of damage control.
After the fire has been controlled in a 1.5-km radius around the site, the gas leak hasn’t stopped spreading owing to the lousy behavior of the oil drilling company.
Two firefighters found dead
As per NDRF team’s and Oil India spokesperson Tridiva Hazarika’s statement to PTI, two firefighters who were found dead later had gone missing after the well was on fire.
“It could take at least four weeks to control the Chernobyl Like disaster in Assam completely,” the Oil India representative said.
Effects of Oil Well fire on the Local away from the region
The intensity of Assam Oil well fire was so bad that people living 30 Km away from Baghjan Oil well region could see the effects of the light from their homes.
Chandrika Bhuyan from Chabua, Assam said, “as evening approached, we could see an orange hue engulf the sky. By nightfall, the entire sky was bright orange. We can only imagine how big the fire must have been for us to witness it from our houses situated some 25-30kms away.”
Actions were taken to control the disaster so far
Oil India Limited has appointed experts to study the possible effects of Gas spreading the neighboring region. Many people in Assam have come on the road to protest against the negligence of Oil and loss of biodiversity. As per Oil India Limited, the damage to the property of the public is minimal, but people are claiming otherwise. It is said that several parks, houses, vehicles, forests have now burnt to ashes. The Indian Air force (IAF) and army have joined hands to fight the Chernobyl like Assam Oil Well Disaster. Oil India Private Limited has announced 30,000 INR as
a relief fund for every affected family.
Why it the right time to Unite for Assam against Baghjan Oil Well fire
The rest of India often ignores the North-East Part of India. I believe it is possible because North-east consists of only 25 Lok Sabha seats. That makes it only 4.5% seat out of total Lok Sabha seats. In the past much ruling Indian government irrespective of their party, didn’t think about northeast much. Another reason could be the lack of connectivity of the North-east region to the rest of India. The distance between the capital of the country, Delhi, and Guwahati is around 2000 km. Another reason is the deep imbibed racism in Indians. Most North-east Indians don’t share their features with the majority of Indian Population, which leads to weak connection and familiarity. Though the attitude has begun to change with the new generation and it took many sacrifices from North-eastern to fight the racism against them in their own country. The Juicy mango team hopes that with this disaster, the Indians will unite and fight for the right irrespective of their regions, caste, features.