彩票代理

At Baghjan OIL blowout site, endangered species at risk: Report

作者:admin 2020-08-01

Hindustantimes          

New Delhi: The blowout at state-run Oil India Limited (OIL)’s Baghjan well in Assam since June 27 has harmed endangered species like Gangetic dolphins in the biodiverse region and the impact of the uncontrolled oil and gas emissions will be long term due to contamination of the groundwater it is likely to cause, a Wildlife Institute of India (WII) report has said. The July 15 report, which was submitted to the Union environment ministry earlier this month, said one dolphin was found dead from poisoning from the oil spill.

The well, which has been on fire since June 9, is located near Dibru Saikhowa National Park, the Maguri-Motapung wetlands, and the forest villages of Barekuri, which are home to endangered hoolock gibbons and Gangetic dolphins.

The report said oil wells in and around the national park will be detrimental to the region’s unique ecosystem and that it is also extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. The environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee, which met in December and January, recommended environmental clearance for drilling and testing of hydrocarbons at seven locations under the national park.

“’[Given] the potential of oil blowout and oil spill disaster like this...such oil wells in the vicinity of Dibru-Saikhowa National park and important bird area complex...will be detrimental to the conservation value of this unique ecosystem,” the report said. It called for an assessment for a cumulative impact of the existing gas wells.

The report said bird species richness was found to increase with an increase in distance from the site possibly due to oil spill and intense noise from the blowout. The bird species decline is highest in grasslands (59%) and wetland (85%) compared to areas located away from the site, it added. The report said the fish species have also declined in wetland and river tributaries, where dissolved oxygen levels have fallen due to the oil spill. It added the concentration of toxic polyaromatic hydrocarbons in fish samples from the wetland was found to be 10- to 100-fold higher than normal.

The report said there has been a massive decrease in the Gangetic Dolphin presence in Lohit, Dibru, and Maguri-Motapung after the blowout. It added the loud noise due to the blowout can be heard as far as 12 km and beyond, making the area extremely unhealthy for humans, animals, and birds. “The impact is significant and will have a long term effect, as many of these pollutants will leach into the ground and contaminate groundwater.”

The report said the 65-70 ha burnt-out area mapped includes crop fields, grasslands, and swamps. “There was a visible oil spill [oil and sediment] on June 16, downstream of the well.” The report underlined the wetland and surrounding lowland forests are unique and hence extremely vulnerable to more oil spill disasters.

“The Brahmaputra and the Ganges floodplain landscape is unique in its morphology and fragility, and is responsible for shaping the unique community of plants and animals…the landscape [in Baghjan] is fragile and is engineered by flooding. The dynamic nature of wetland creates mosaics of habitat which are in perpetual flux. In India as well as the world over, there are only a handful of Protected Areas where this system and unique biodiversity is surviving, among them Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Kaziranga Orang National Park tops the list,” the report said.

The report is based on a study WII scientist Qamar Qureshi led. It has asked the government to initiate a study to monitor the long term impact on the ecology of Maguri-Motapung and DibruSaikhowa National Park as well as the health and socio-economic conditions of local communities.

Soumitra Dasgupta, additional director general (wildlife), environment ministry, said it is a voluminous report and they were trying to get more details. “We are sending the findings to the Assam government to begin mitigation and restoration work. I understand that the situation is still grim.”

Tridiv Hazarika, an OIL spokesman, said they will need time to respond. “Since it is a technical report, we will also have to get it reviewed by our independent experts. Our focus is presently on resolving the blowout.”

目前有 0 条留言

发表留言

◎欢迎参与讨论,请在这里发表您的看法、交流您的观点。