Tinsukia: The team of three global experts flown in from Singapore in a special chartered flight to help control the gas “blowout” in Assam’s Tinsukia district has landed at LGBI Airport in Guwahati at 1.20 pm on Sunday.
The experts are — senior well control operations & team leader Michael Ernest Allcorn, senior well control engineer Craig Neil Duncan and senior well control specialist Edward Harris MacLeod, all from renowned Canadian-company Alert Damage Control.
According to OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika, the experts will straightway drive down to Duliajan. “They are likely to reach on Sunday night and will visit Baghjan on Monday,” he said, adding: “The first attempt is likely to be made on Monday.”
The Assam government meanwhile has decided to exempt the three member team of global experts from quarantine — a deviation from the standard standing operating procedure (SOP) for COVID-19.
Releasing its own SOP in May end, the Assam cabinet had approved “ruthless quarantine” for all persons arriving from outside the state by air, land or train before they are allowed to go home.
Addressing a letter to deputy commissioner Kamrup (Metro) and Tinsukia, principal secretary of health & family welfare Samir K Singh said, “Oil India Limited has requested that the three experts’ crew personnel arriving from Singapore through a special chartered flight may be exempted from quarantine so that they can proceed to Duliajan and Baghjan immediately in their arrival,” he said, adding: “Ministry of health & family Welfare has issued no objection to the travel of the above experts to India.”
“In view of the fact that the SOP of government of Assam, Health & Family Welfare department for air passengers, provide for exemption from quarantine for government officials on official duty, and since the aforesaid experts have been engaged by OIL to attend an emergency, the request this agreed to the condition that OIL will keep the local district adminsitration adminsitration fully informed of the programme and work plan of the experts,” the letter read.
The exemption comes at a time when a massive spike has been recorded in the number positive cases of Covid-19 in past 10 days, most of the patients were the returnees to the state by air, land or train.