Assam River on Fire: Oil Spill Causes Massive Fire Over Assam’s Burhi Dihing River

Thick dark smoke plumes were observed in the region, posing a health hazard for the local population.

Assam River on Fire: Oil Spill Causes Massive Fire Over Assam’s Burhi Dihing River

A stretch of the eastern Assam's Burhi Dihing River was on fire for the last two days due to a leakage in the underwater oil pipeline. The fire was brought under control on Monday by the Dibrugarh district authorities.

Thick dark smoke plumes were observed in the region, posing a health hazard for the local population. The impact on the aquatic life in the river is being assessed. The incident took place in a small stretch in Dibrugarh district's Naharkatia town—roughly 400 km from the state capital Guwahati.

Oil India Limited (OIL) said that a rare instrumentation error led to the leakage in the central tank pump, ruling out the chances of oil theft. A senior official from OIL told The Hindu that most of the spillage happened on land and only a small portion of the leakage reached the river through a leader drain.

The OIL officials are confident that the oil could have been recovered had it not caught fire and alleged that some miscreants might have caused the fire after the leakage was detected in the river.

Talking to The Times of India, Jayant Bormudoi, senior manager, corporate communications and public affairs, OIL said that, "A joint team, including Tengakhat circle officer, State Pollution Control Board officials, members of the fisheries department and experts from OIL are assessing any possible damage to the environment. Necessary action will be taken based on the observations made by the committee".

Oil spills have been one of the most hazardous episodes for the marine environment over the past few decades. Spills often take months to clean up, and the threatens the aquatic as well as the avian life dependant on the water bodies.

Dibrugarh deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha said, "The fire has already been controlled. The circle officer of Tengakhat revenue circle has visited the site and will soon give a report. Our primary concern is to minimize any environmental hazard. We will take the necessary steps after assessing the reports."

Source : Weather,com