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‘OIL, GAIL ignored safety of workers’

When it comes to adhering to norms of workers’ safety, the profit-making public sector companies have proved to be more ignorant. According to a latest report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and GAIL (India) Limited have failed to implement recommendations of ‘External Safety Audits’, which is conducted by Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD).

Implementation of external safety audits’ recommendation has been necessitated to curb loss of lives and damages to property arising from non compliance with safety requirements in operation and maintenance of oil and gas transmission pipelines.

“The IOCL and GAIL were yet to implement 149 and 109 recommendations respectively. Audit also observed delay ranging from nine to 163 months in implementation of recommendations compared to the prescribed period of 24 months,” the CAG said. 

The report prominently highlights the importance of carrying out ‘intelligent pigging survey’ (IPS) to assess the health of gas/oil pipelines and to commence corrective action. IPS is also a mandatory requirement under provisions of OISD standards and Regulations of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). The report, however, points out delays ranging from one year to 17 years in carrying out IPS on 66 different pipelines by GAIL and 10 pipelines by IOCL.

Accumulation of muck and debris in pipeline resulting from delay in carrying out IPS led to loss of two lives, through ejection of the ‘pig’ when IPS was actually conducted in Vizag-Secunderabad LPG Pipeline.
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