Devastation in Bhubaneswar due to Indian Oil: Penal Action pending inquiry essential

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I am staying near official residence of the Governor of Orissa. The area has been devastated by a severe explosion in the Indian Oil petrol station, situated opposite the Governor’s house. I am yet to overcome the shock, as my nephew has narrowly escaped the worst possible peril the IOCL had kept in stock. He was about entering into the filling station when the explosion took place at about 1.10pm. Turning instantly back to an apparently safe place, he took this and some such pictures.

This filling station was closed for a few years due to marked laxity in safety.

The IOCL should now reveal the details of how the closed station was allowed to reopen and what were the specific safety threats that were removed to permit its fresh operation.

IOCL has not put before the public the steps it takes to ensure safe operation of its pumps. People do not know if the tanks are made of proper metals and materials and the periods they would stay safe. They know nothing on their maintenance protocol and not sure of safety as they enter into these stations.

As per eyewitness accounts, the LPG tank that exploded was repaired yesterday. Who of IOCL had inspected that repairing?

The official website of IOCl has not yet put any information on this explosion; and this shows how negligent is its approach to safety of the people working in and living around its filling stations.

We insist that the devastation be immediately put in official website in its entirety including human casualties over and above the cause of the blast and the safety measures in use there till its explosion.

Government must end its lackadaisical approach to safety of the people. All the filling stations, notwithstanding their locations, public or private, need be forced to create their respective websites and place the details of metal and ingredients used in the tanks vis-a-vis the standard fixed including identity and responsibilities of persons in charge of safety of the filling station.

Petroleum Minister has breathed an inquiry into the matter. We stress that, pending the contemplated inquiry, penal action be immediately taken against supplier of the tank that exploded and against whosoever has any contribution to this explosion.

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