Following the reports of the presence of heavy fuel in the streams in and around Leimakhong areas of Imphal West district on Wednesday night, the main course of the stream has been blocked at Kantosabal to contain the spread of heavy fuel into the public water supply system and diverted to a nearby dug out field as immediate measures.
An FIR has been registered and the area is also being sealed completely by deputing adequate security forces. An expert investigation team led by ADGP (Int), Manipur Ashutosh Sinha has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the incident, it mentioned.
The other members of the team are Commissioner (Power), Government of Manipur Shailesh Kumar Chourasia, and additional secretary (Home), Government of Manipur M Pradip Singh, it stated.
On receiving the information, the department of Power, Water Resources, Environment, Relief and Disaster, Police teams and District Administration pressed into immediate action with the help of local public in the presence of concerned Ministers and MLAs, stated a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Manipur. Men and Machinery were also put into action, and as immediate measures the stream was diverted, it stated.
It said that the department of Public Health Engineering is working in close coordination with the technical teams from IIT, Guwahati, Manipur University, NIT, Manipur and to assess any contamination to the water from the streams.
Preliminary reports of PHED have indicated that there is no damage to the potable water supply system, and the water quality is safe. Additional water samples are being collected for detailed assessment by IIT Guwahati. An expert team of IIT Guwahati is also visiting Imphal, it further stated.
In the meantime, in order to ensure supply of potable water to the residents of Leimakhong area, as an interim measure, PHED, Manipur has started providing potable water by diversification of source by boring tubewells, water supply through tankers etc, it mentioned.
It stated that a committee is being constituted by the Public Health Engineering department to monitor and ensure that potable water is available for consumption as well as for domestic use of the public with members from departments of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Water Resources, Power, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
It further assured that the state government is taking full measures to provide safe drinking water to the public and contain any contamination to the streams around Leimakhong area.
As a precautionary measure, the general public is requested to not use raw water from the stream from Leimakhong to Lamdeng until the water testing report is confirmed, it stated. The general.
Public is further requested to extend full cooperation to the government by reporting immediately any signs of affecting aquatic life and animals, it mentioned.
Meanwhile, PHED, Manipur has temporarily closed down the water supply schemes located near the streams for providing drinking water and will reopen once the testing result is confirmed, it stated.
For availing free facility of tankers for potable water in the affected areas, the following Helpline numbers may be contacted: 8794006422/7085922914, it said.
Meanwhile, local residents, who rely on the stream water for their daily activities, expressed concerns to the Imphal Free Press about the threats posed not only to aquatic life but also to the communities dependent on these water sources.
It is learnt that the Heavy Fuel Power Plant of 36mw was inaugurated in 2002 by former president APJ Abdul Kalam. It was constructed at a cost of Rs 125.38 crore from the non-lapsable central pool.
Regarding the old-aged heavy fuel power plant leakage, the Imphal Free Press enquired with Manipur State Power Company Limited managing director regarding more information about the plant and its status report, but MD of MSPCL refused to give comments.
However, he said that the plant was established before the MSPCL started and the related documents are being looked up. About the leakage, he cannot give any statement without any report from the technical team.
Speaking to the IFP, a source at Leimakhong said that the plant is old and its pipeline has been shut down for the last 15 years.
In the heavy fuel power plant, there are three containers, containing high speed diesel, furnished oil and Light Diesel Oil (LDO). It is mixed in a huge container and used in two parts; one for power generation and another at a power sub-station. The power generation has been shut down but the fuel has not been taken out from the last 15 years.
The high-speed diesel containers contain 500 kilo litres, furnished oil containers contain 87 kilo litres but the quantity of oil in the LDO could not be measured.