Joint inspection report on GAIL India and ONGC units in Andhra Pradesh, 12/04/2021
Joint inspection report of Committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, Chennai in pursuance to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, September 8, 2020 in the matter of Venkatapathi Raja Yenumala Vs Union of India & Others). An application was filed before the NGT, Southern Bench, alleging air, sound, soil and water pollution caused on account of activities by M/s GAIL India Ltd and M/s ONGC units in Andhra Pradesh along the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin located in East Godavari and West Godavari districts.
Venkatapathi Raja Yenumala, the applicant alleged that oil leakage was being caused in the pipelines of these units causing damage to the agricultural land and also affecting water bodies.
The committee in its report to the NGT, April 12, 2021 informed the NGT that the life period of coal tar enamel (CTE) pipelines was ideally for a period of 20 years, but in KG basin, CTE pipelines older than 30 years were still in use and there should be a time frame for replacement of old pipelines. Very old CTE coated pipes may be replaced with 3-layer polyethylene (3LPE) pre-coated pipes. Only nine out of 20 flowing wells were provided with gravel pack to minimize sand entrainment and there should be provision for gravel pack near the perforation to all flowing wells to reduce entrainment of sand in pipelines to reduce the chances of pipeline leakage.
M/s ONGC and M/s GAIL in Krishna Godavari basin were more focused on production and extraction of oil and gas but the environmental aspects and pollution mitigation measures within their premises was not much focussed upon. The report pointed out that the effluent treatment plants were not properly operated, hazardous wastes such as ETP sludge, slop oil (crude oil emulsified with water and soild) was not disposed of as per Hazardous Waste and Management Rules. High fugitive benzene emissions, not complying with APPCB consent for operation (CFO) conditions and coastal regulation zone violation with respect to marine disposal of treated effluent at Kesanapalli, East Godavari district. ETP sludge was found dumped within the premises of Tatipaka gas collection station (GCS) and mini refinery, Rajamundry. Oil spill inside the premises was not cleaned up, effluent was getting mixed with storm water, ambient benzene in the unit premises was very high and leak detection and repair (LDAR) had not been carried out.