Tengratila blow-out victims demand full compensation

The Daily Star, June 24, 2009

Tengratila Dabi Aday Bastobayon Parishad at a press conference yesterday demanded payment of arrear compensation from Canadian company Niko for the massive damage caused by the blow-out at Tengratila on June 24 of 2005.

The blow-out took place when the Canadian company was conducting a relief well drilling at the remote location in Doarabazar upazila in Sunamganj district to seal the original one, which on January 7 the same year had suffered a huge blow-out.

“We will continue pressing the Niko to clear the arrear compensation to the villagers around. We also demand resuming activities in the gas field and establishment of a 50 MW power plant near the gas field,” said joint convener of the parishad, Nurul Amin, who read out a statement at the press conference at Sylhet Press Club.

The two separate committees formed by the government after the incident mentioned loss worth Tk 746 crore including Tk 85 crore in environmental loss but things have remained unsettled yet. The company did not even pay the total amount of agreed compensation to 616 poor families, who were forced out of their homesteads for months, goes the statement.

The parishad will form a human chain in front of the central Shahid Minar at Chouhatta in Sylhet city today (Wednesday) to press the ‘legitimate’ demands.

The June 24 blow-out at Tengratila caused destruction to huge gas and trees and croplands in the surrounding areas during the following weeks.

Thousands of people had to leave their homesteads as the huge fireball leapt 150 feet over the gas field.

The raging flames took about two months to go down totally.

Still bubbles due to gas emission are marked on the water bodies around and fish in the ponds often die due to the gas leakage, a number of locals said.

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