Green Tribunal(GT) on Thursday asked Oil India Limited (OIL) to pay Rs 25 crores as an initial fine for failure in preventing the blowout of Baghjan 5 oil well, resulting in a massive fire causing irreparable loss to the entire biodiversity of the region, lives, and property.
The GT stated, “In view of the prima facie case made out against OIL on the extent of damage caused to the environment and biodiversity, damage to both human and wildlife, public health and, having regard to the financial worth of the Company and the extent of damage, we direct the OIL to deposit an initial amount of 25 Crore rupees with the District Magistrate, Tinsukia District, Assam and shall abide by further orders of the Tribunal”.
According to the applicant who filed a case in front of the GT bench alleged, “The blow-out has left behind huge volumes of residue as gas condensate which is a mixture of chemical compounds that are toxic for land and vegetation and is a known carcinogen,” adding, “The blowout is not only hazardous to the health of the people but also severely affect their livelihood whose occupation is mainly agriculture, fishing and animal rearing”.
A similar case was filed by an NGO against the respondent board and invoked about the precautionary principle and the Polluters Pay Principle under Section 20 of the NG Act, 2010 as well as the “Public Trust” doctrine. The GT considered both the applications as identical questions and said to constitute a committee of experts will look into the matter and visit the site for further inspection.