The magnitude of the disaster was very high; no time to respond

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora, on Friday informed the Lok Sabha that the magnitude of fire at the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot in Jaipur was so massive that it virtually left no time to put in place a well formulated disaster management plan.

“Despite having the disaster management plan and all safety devices in place, it could not be put in use to fight the fire in view of the nature and magnitude of the disaster leaving no time to respond,” Mr. Deora said in a statement suo moto in the House.

The Petroleum Ministry convened a meeting on November 3 of CEOs of pubic and private oil companies where it was agreed that all companies shall take measures to promote safety consciousness and training of safety requirement at all levels. “All oil and gas installations will have their safety audit done on quarterly basis. All major as well as minor incidents in any such installations including that of private companies will be reported to Oil Industry Safety Directorate,” he added.

Mr. Deora said the IOC has announced an ex gratia payment of Rs. 10 lakh to those who lost their lives, Rs. two lakh to those who were seriously injured and Rs. one lakh to those who suffered minor injuries. This is in addition to the compensation offered by the government, he said.