TODAY -

CM vows action in Leimakhong power plant case
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, March 05 2024: Informing that the government has come across evidences of possible sabotage of the Leimakhong power plant that led to spillage of heavy fuel in the nearby river, chief minister N Biren declared in Tuesday's session of state assembly session that the government will hunt down the perpetrators and arrest them.

On the last day of the 5th session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly, Congress MLAs K Ranjit and Th Lokeshwar moved calling attention motion over the oil spillage into the stream from Leimakhong Heavy Fuel power station on January 10.Supplementing to the response by power minister Th Biswajit, chief minister N Biren highlighted the swift response of the government in association with local MLA, police and ex-pradhan of Kanto as soon as the viral video reached him to prevent the fuel spill from spreading far and creating environmental hazard.

Suspicious about nature of the incident, an official team led by the minister concerned and senior officials was sent even as the union home minister despatched an expert team to assess the situation, he recounted.

Maintaining that there are substantial reasons to believe that it was an act of sabotage aimed at making the water toxic, Biren reiterated as the incident tantamount to crime against humanity the government will not spare anybody found involved.

While explaining that reason for the government treading cautiously on the matter is the current volatile situation of the state, he informed the House that additional state force has been deployed in the power plant and police personnel posted in the nearby areas at the time of posting are being investigated.

The chief minister also said that the government will present cash reward to the former pradhan of Kanto for his active support in preventing a bio-hazard.

Earlier, while responding to the motion, minister Biswajit said that the plant was first set up in 1998 and commissioned on October 5,2002 by the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam.

It was run on High Speed Diesel Oil, Low Speed Diesel Oil and HFO, which were cheap back then.

With rising cost of fuel, the plant ceased operation after 2012, he said, while highlighting efforts make by the government under the supervision of the chief minister to prevent the spilled oil from reaching far down the stream.

The government took the matter very seriously and even suspended the DGM.

Two FIRs were also registered on January 12 and 13, while experts from IIT were engaged followed by engagement of Punebased Oil Spill Combat Team (OSCT) to mitigate the fallouts.

Different committees were formed.

Upon further investigation, oil pipeline of the power plant was found cut, which could be the handiwork of some criminals, which resulted in spilling of the oil into the stream, elaborated the minister.

He also stated that six reports have been submitted by OSCT, and three by IIT with water samples collected and tested on six different occasions.

Permissible limit of presence of fuel and grease in water is 20 mg/litre.

First test showed 8 mg/litre on January 11, 19.2 mg/litre on January 12, 6.6 mg/litre on January 15, and 0.08 mg/litre on February 27.As such, water in the stream is safe for human consumption, he said.


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