Limited''s Baghjan oilfield in Assam''s Tinsukia district last
year has caused an estimated loss of over Rs 25,000 crore and
destroyed around 55 per cent of the biodiversity in the area,
an inquiry report prepared by a senior forest official said on
The report titled ''Ecology and Economy: Lessons Learnt
from Baghjan Blowout'' has been prepared by state Additional
Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife
Warden M K Yadava.
It stated that 25,825 animals belonging to 41 genera
or families, and 91 scheduled animals in the Wildlife
(Protection) Act, including a Gangetic River Dolphin and two
Hoolock Gibbons, were killed in the disaster.
"Baghjan is a case of an ecological disaster and there
are chances that, in an attempt to arrive at monetary
valuations for all the losses, the route of ''shadow pricing''
"In it, the cost of one item and the cost of other
items for which price is not known can be subsumed and it was
decided to list a very limited number of "countable" damages
which can be directly and rationally arrived at," the report
The countable losses assessed in the report based on
the above method estimated damages to the tune of Rs 25,050.61
crore and this can be realised over a period of 10 years.
Well no. 5 at Baghjan began to spew gas on May 27 last
year, before exploding on June 9 and was finally killed on
November 15. The incident resulted in the deaths of three
The condensate oil spread to a large area of 13.85 sq
km, of which 7.97 sq km got burnt almost fully, 1.02 sq km got
burnt partially and the secondary affected areas spread to
13.75 sq km, it said.
The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park got impacted to the
extent of 12.07 sq km. In all, total wetland area of 16.32 sq
km, grassland area of 5.23 sq km, rivers/streams 19.76 sq km
and forest areas of 2.13 sq km got affected due to the
The report also observed that the Baghjan blowout
caused widespread burning, fire, sound, air and water
pollution, vibrations and ground motion causing tremors in
houses, drenching thousands of people, livestock and wildlife
in black coloured ''oil rain'' and causing stillbirth of
uncounted numbers of livestock.
Above all, it resulted in the devastation of the
Maguri Motapung Beel ecosystem and damages to the Dibru-
Saikhowa National Park ecosystem, burning of grasslands,
unbearable radiation of heat and strong blazing light.
There have been damages to tea gardens, orchards, and
fruit and vegetable gardens.
The soil has been contaminated with oil, grease and
heavy metals and needs to be treated, while tea bushes need
uprooting and output crop must be well-tested for harmful
chemicals, the report said.
The misery was further compounded by the COVID-19
outbreak and a series of flood waves, nine last year, it said.
OIL spokesperson Tridip Hazarika told PTI that the
company is studying the report and will respond after going
through it thoroughly.
Former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had directed
Yadava in June last year to conduct a study on the effects of
the blowout on the environment and ecology of the surrounding
He was directed to assess its impact on the flora and
fauna along with different species living in the water bodies
of the area. PTI DG