Report on oil spillage at Chandrapura Thermal Power Station, Chandrapura, Jharkhand, 29/09/2020

  • 29/09/2020

Inspection Report of M/s Chandrapura Thermal Power Station (CTPS), Chandrapura, Jharkhand in Original Application 18/2020/EZ/ in the matter of Praveen Kumar Singh Vs Damodar Valley Corporation & Others.

The matter relates to oil leakage and assessment of environmental damage caused by the oil spill. The inspection was done by a Committee formed in compliance with the National Green Tribunal order of June 15, 2020.

The incident of oil leakage occurred on October 15, 2019. Rail rake from IOCL, Haldia reached inside the plant and oil and was being unloaded at CTPS site through a new unloading system but considerable delay was being noticed in the system due to some technical reasons. Consequent upon the non functioning of the new system, it was later unloaded through the old system. During this shifting, some quantity of spillage of fuel oil occurred which was allowed to be collected in a sump tank and to be ultimately pumped into the main storage tank. However, the connecting hume pipe developed crack and oil leaked from the hume pipe and ingress in the nearby drainage system which is constructed to collect the storm/rain water and finally meets river Damodar. However, the drain passes through an oil catcher system which is between the said oil unloading system and the confluence point of river Damodar.

As soon as the oil leakage was detected, M/s CTPS started necessary measures to collect the spilled oil from the drainage channel and river in presence of JSPCB officials. As per the direction of JSPCB, this oil loading/unloading system has not been in operation since October 15, 2019.

The spilled oil was collected from the drainage channel and river and stored in 18 oil drums and kept at a secured place. Fly ash was also used to soak spilled oil to control spillage of oil and it is stored in a concrete tank. The report stated that 2.7 kl of oil had leaked out during the incident.

The Committee visited the affected areas and said that there was hardly any sign of released hydrocarbon and it was possible that leakage of oil (hydrocarbon) when released into the environment undergo various forms like volatilization, chemical oxidation, bioaccumulation, adsorption to soil particle, leaching and microbial degradation. Visit to the nearby area revealed no such environmental damages to the nearby agricultural fields or wild plants growing nearby. Also, fuel oil is considered to be less toxic and even though it has an immediate effect on the vegetation, the long term effect needs an extended in-depth study.

Note: The report on September 29, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site on November 10, 2020