The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry on Tuesday ordered a safety audit of all oil and gas installations across the country following the fire at the Indian Oil Corporation’s fuel depot in Jaipur, which has been raging for the past five days.
The decision was taken at a meeting of all public sector units and departments by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora to review the safety of oil installations. The government has set December 31 as the deadline for completion of the audit and submission of a report. A number of oil and gas installations have come under the scanner for their proximity to thickly populated residential areas.
“All oil and gas companies must have their standard operating procedures for operation and maintenance,” Mr. Deora said after the meeting.
The meeting decided that after the audit, all installations have their safety audit done every quarter. “All major as well as minor incidents in any such installation, including that of private companies, will be reported to the Oil Industry Safety Directorate,” Mr. Deora said.
A seven-member committee, headed by the former HPCL chairman, M.B. Lal, will submit a report on the Jaipur fire in 60 days.
Reports from Jaipur said two tanks from which smoke was billowing had 6 and 10 feet of petrol, and this could burn up only by Wednesday.