BP Katakey Committee Recommendations

BP Katakey Committee Recommendations


Baghjan blowout verdict: NGT flags violations by OIL, offers respite to affected

      WHY IN NEWS:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on August 7, 2020, accepted the recommendations submitted by a court-appointed committee regarding compensation disbursal to the victims of Baghjan blowout in Assam’s Tinsukia on May 27 and subsequent fire on June 9.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Disaster Management


Blowout, fire could have been prevented by OIL, said eight-member committee of experts


Katakey Committee

Sources : DownToEarth

The committee, led by former justice BP Katakey, submitted his preliminary findings of the blowout in Baghjan

  • The May 27 blowout was followed by a well fire on June 9.
  • The fire continues to burn and pollute the rural commons and habitats of endangered birds.
  • The company has spent around Rs 150 crore, of which Rs 22.38 crore have been earmarked for rehabilitation and compensation of affected persons.
  • More than 5,758 persons continue to be in seven relief camps near Baghjan village.


  • The eight-member committee of experts concluded that the blowout and fire in the gas well could have been prevented by OIL .
  • It recommended Rs 25 lakh as compensation for those the most affected.
  • It calls for strict measures against OIL for environmental violations and disregard for the procedures.

OIL paid less attention to the deficiencies in operating the gas rig.

  • The committee found serious deficiencies of proper supervision of critical operation at well site .


There was a gap in understanding of the gravity of a critical operation like removal of blowout preventer (BOP).

  • BOP is a specialised valve used to seal, control and monitor all blowouts — without having a confirmed and tested secondary safety barrier to block the gases in the event of a leak.
  • OIL has alleged that the court-appointed committee ignored the role of the drilling contractor which may have been responsible for the blowout.

OIL engineers sealed a portion of the well to stop the flow of gas from the active oil reserves.

  • According to the procedure, cement plugs or barriers used need at least 48 hours of no activity on the site.


The committee also received short transcripts of 83 interviews from the residents of 11 villages in the vicinity of the site of incident.


  • All interviewees reported health-related impacts of the blowout.
  • All of them unanimously mentioned adverse health impact such as breathing difficulty, headache from the incessant sound from the oil well.

The incident has also damaged the cultivation and polluted drinking water.

  • “This indicates that social distancing norms and sanitation facilities are under severe constrain as alleged by the local representatives.
  • The committee recommended three categories of people affected, based on which compensation would be disbursed within 45 days of the NGT order.

The amount disbursed would be Rs 25 lakh for Category I, Rs 10 lakh for Category II and Rs 25,000 for Category III.

  • The committee also recommended that people left out of the list of affected persons should be added.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Katakey stated that the committee comprising oil industry experts, scientists and government bureaucrats unanimously agreed that the disaster could have been prevented .

  • Several measures have been recommended to conduct a multidisciplinary study looking the impacts.
  • The committee has called for a strict compliance by OIL on the measures suggested to prevent future blowouts.
  • Compensation already paid by OIL would be taken into account and excluded from the interim compensation.
  • It has asked the district administration to conduct its ongoing survey on the losses faced by the victims and disburse the compensation.
  • The panel also accepted the interim compensation to the affected families who have moved out of the relief camps after the blowout on May 27.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 5th Aug Current Affairs News Analysis 
You May Also Like