A Central committee has asked the Environment Ministry to take into consideration likely threat of land subsidence in Krishna-Godavari Basin in Andhra Pradesh while giving clearance to any underground oil or gas exploration project in future.
Though it said it did not find any direct evidence to indicate any land subsidence in the gas field or the adjoining areas in the KG Basin, there is a need to conduct an extensive study by institutes like Indian School of Mines on present state and likelihood of such a situation in the region.
The five-member team headed by R K Garg, a scientist of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), was set up by the Environment Ministry following an Andhra Pradesh High Court order in June to conduct field inspection to find whether there is any possibility of land subsidence due to exploration of natural gas in the basin.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Krishna Godavari Delta Parirakshana Samiti represented by Vijay Bangar Raju and Krishna Rao from West Godavari raising apprehensions that land is sinking due to the over-exploitation of oil and gas in Konaseema region. They had sought the government's intervention in the matter.
The team visited the KG basin, nearby villages as well sites of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Limited, which along with others, are conducting exploration in both offshore and onshore facilities.