ONGC says oil leak in TN fixed, PMK seeks closure of wells

Kumbakonam(TN), Apr 28 (PTI): Oil leak following burst in an underground pipeline near here was fixed promptly, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation said today while PMK demanded permanent closure of oil wells to avert deterioration of farm lands.
An oil spill which affected farm land in their area was noticed by Kathiramangalam villagers yesterday and they informed government authorities including police officials.
“Action was immediately taken and the leak was set right at Kathiramangalam. The well (to which the pipeline was linked) has also been closed,” an ONGC official told PTI.
On the cause of the leak, he said it cannot be spelt out at this stage and officials were seized of the issue.
The leak was noticed by 4 pm yesterday and it was fixed immediately, he said.
For over a decade, the ONGC has been extracting oil and natural gas from its wells in the Kathiramangalam region near the banks of Cauvery and the fuel is routed to its facility at nearby Kuthalam for processing.
“Considering the safety of the people and to avert deterioration of farm lands, the oil wells should be shut and ONGC should quit (the region),” PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said.
The PMK leader, who is also the Dharmapuri Lok Sabha MP said the oil spill has damaged paddy crop in 3.5 acre land of a farmer.
“Though the leak has been stopped temporarily, till now the pipelines have not been changed,” he claimed.
Ever since oil extraction wells were established in and around Kathiramangalam in 2002 by the ONGC, it has affected the environment and led to deterioration of agriculture, he alleged.
Following yesterday’s leak, villagers, who have been staunchly opposing ONGC’s operations for nearly a year stepped up their protest reiterating their demand and police personnel have been deployed for maintenance of law and order.
Since last May, villagers have been opposing oil and gas extraction alleging it would affect agriculture.
Also, they continue to oppose “bid to extract methane.”
It may be recalled that on June 30 (Kathiramangalam) and August 13 (Mathirimangalam) similar incidents of pipeline bursts had occurred in the Cauvery Delta region of Tamil Nadu.