Petrol pump fire public safety hazard
Staff Reporter | EMN
Dimapur, August 11
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he fire near a petroleum depot in 7th Mile, Dimapur on last Friday night, has pushed to the forefront the vulnerability of public safety in the outbreak of such incidents. For the administration it would have questioned the preparedness of the various government agencies and if it is equipped with measures to tackle such incidents.
On the same note and with equal degree of emphasis is a note of caution for the public, to remain vigilant of nefarious indulgences in their localities.
This time round, it was the prompt action of the State Fires Services, the Airports Authority of Indian, Indian Oil Corporation and Security Forces which saved the day.
Even after a lapse of 48 hours, a clear picture on the cause of the fire could not be established and continues to be shrouded in mystery but two persons connected with the incident have been arrested.
While the owner of the petrol pump has blamed an electric short circuit, district police have accounted for negligence on the part of the staff. However, the public have pointed accusing fingers of suspicion on indulgence in nefarious activities particularly on adulteration of petroleum products.
But with no one reporting the incident or suspicion to the authorities, the explosion on Friday has revealed a gap in the public relationship the police maintain with the public.
Following the incident, police have registered a case and also seized other tools and containers. It was learned that two persons have been arrested in this connection.
Sources at the site informed that the loss due to the incident could be above Rs 20 lakh. Over 20,000 litres stored in 43 barrels including two oil tankers were consumed in the fire. The oil trucks were destined for Manipur but were stranded owing to bandh and landslides on the onward route.
Two overhead high tension cables also snapped from the impact of the inferno.
Till late Sunday morning the snapped cables were seen on some rooftops.
It is clear that the district authorities will need to clean up its act and conduct periodical surprise raids against such malpractices.
The incident on Friday night is the second this year involving accidents relating to petroleum. In May last, an oil tanker was reduced to cinders in Darogapathar sending shock wave among the residents in the area.