Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan who visited Baghjan in Tinsukia district on June 14 in view of the fire incident from a gas well, met leaders of different student organizations at the conference hall of DC Office, Tinsukia and apprised them that the government is taking international help to douse the fire, and constituting an expert committee to study the environmental impact and suggest the remedial steps.

Talking to the student leaders in the meeting, Sonowal said that the Union petroleum minister, according highest importance to the Baghjan fire incident, is taking steps to bring in experts from the US, Australia, Canada and Singapore to douse the fire. He also said that though the government as an interim relief granted Rs 30,000 to each of the displaced victims, the government is working on modalities to compensate the displaced persons adequately.

Stating on the environmental impact as well as the reported tremor felt around the fire site, the CM said that the government is attaching due importance to the phenomena and is all set to constitute a committee taking experts from IIT Guwahati, Regional Research Centre in Jorhat and Geological Survey of India. After receiving the feedback from the expert committee, the government would take appropriate, time-bound steps.

Sonowal also expressed his gratitude to the student leaders for extending all support and cooperation to the government at this critical juncture.

Union minister Pradhan said that his ministry is taking all possible short and long term measures, including giving compensation to the people and restoring the sanctity of the ecological factors in view of the fire. The Union minister also said that though the oil sector plays an important role in the economy of the state, the oil industry is also greatly indebted to the people of Assam for the support they extend to the government and industry in this crisis situation.

Representatives of All Moran Students’ Union, All Asom Mottock Yuba Chatra Sanmilan, All Assam Chutia Students’ Union, All Adivasi Students Association, Gorkha Students Union, All Assam Students’ Union, AJYCP and others were present during the meeting.

Later talking to the reporters, Sonowal said that the government will take all steps for all round development of Baghjan. He also said that all pragmatic steps will be taken to avert recurrence of such incidents in the future, as he requested the Union petroleum minister to help the state government in this regard.

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