Tension prevailed at Uppudi village in Katrenikona mandal of East Godavari district on Sunday following a leak from a gas pipeline maintained by the PFH Oil and Gas Private Limited, a private agency.
The pipeline developed a crack and gas leaked from it making sound which created panic in the village. When The Hindu tried to contact the PFH officials, they were not available for any comment.
According to sources, the gas pipeline connected to Katrenikona well passed through a few villages, including Uppudi, and it got damaged on Sunday.
“As the gas that leaked from the pipeline is inflammable, officials stopped power supply to the nearby villages and asked the residents not to light stoves or firewood which may lead to the gas catching fire,” said a villager. Gas leaked from the pipeline had petrol smell and it spread to the nearby hamlets, said a woman, Satyavathi.
On receiving information, fire and rescue personnel and technical team of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Rajamahendravaram, rushed to the spot and extended support to the PFH personnel in plugging the pipeline leakage.
“As a precautionary measure, we asked the residents to be cautious and vehicular traffic has been suspended for a while on the main road towards Uppudi to Katrenikona. Some nearby houses were vacated,” said an officer monitoring the operation.
This was the second gas pipeline leak incident reported in the last three days in East Godavari district. A gas pipeline of the ONGC leaked at Antarvedi on January 31.
ONGC officials clarified that the corporation was in no way connected to the incident.
P. Satyanarayana, a local, blamed the PFH and the ONGC managements for frequent gas and oil pipeline leakages in the region. Such incidents were happening due to poor maintenance of the pipelines, he said.
The villagers appealed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the officials of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) to inspect the KG basin, monitor the oil and gas exploration operations, check the maintenance of wells and pipelines.