Angry IGL hits back at negligence allegations

Vol 18, PW 17 (23 Apr 15) People & Policy

Indraprastha Gas has hit back at allegations of negligence as police continue inquiries into an explosion in the Surya Nagar area of Ghaziabad that residents blame on a leaking gas pipeline.

IGL confirms police visited its office on April 15 to meet GAIL director HR and IGL chairman M. Ravindran whose name figures in a First Information Report filed by local resident Neeraj Raghuvanshi, whose wife, sister-in-law and nephew sustained severe burns following an explosion on March 24.

“They (police) were told Ravindran does not sit in the IGL office,” says a source, “and were re-directed to GAIL’s head office at Bhikaji Cama Place.” Raghuvanshi alleges the explosion happened when his wife swatted a mosquito with an electric racket that ignited gas from a burst IGL pipeline behind their house.

IGL concedes there was a reported "minor leakage" on the day of the explosion, which “was immediately plugged” but instead blames unauthorised digging “3-4 months” earlier. “Piped natural gas is lighter than air and disperses immediately into the air without any smell,” says V.

Nagarajan, IGL director commercial. “Since no complaint was received from any resident of the locality for any leakage or pressure drop it is unlikely the gas moved to one particular house after 3-4 months.

This incident was not due to leakage in an IGL pipeline and IGL cannot be blamed for the incident on the basis of assumptions.”