Angry workers set fire to OIL waste pits, pipelines
Agitating contractual labourers of Oil India Limited (OIL) set ablaze oil well drilling waste effluent pits and crude oil and gas pipelines in Upper Assam but returned to work responding to an appeal by the authorities on Wednesday evening.
OIL and police sources in Guwahati said that protestors on Wednesday set fire to the waste effluent pit at Tengakhat but the blaze was extinguished immediately.
The disgruntled workers also set afire an oil pipeline passing through the rainforest in upper Dihing but it was soon put off on Tuesday night. Though two pipelines at Joypur and an effluent pit near drilling wells at Jorajan were set ablaze, the sources said, they were doused and 11 persons arrested.
Earlier reports said three wells of the OIL in the forest were set on fire.
Meanwhile, to an appeal by the OIL authorities, a major section of the workers returned to their duty on Wednesday evening in its operations at Digboi in Tinsukia district and normalcy was expected by Thursday following a reconciliatory tripartite meeting scheduled for Friday among the OIL, workers and labour commission authorities, the sources added.
The violence was in the backdrop of an "indefinite blockade" called by the casual labourers to demand regularisation of their services from Wednesday night, which has affected operations.
On Monday, the agitating labourers clashed with police, which used tear gas shells and batons in front of the OIL headquarters in Duliajan in which 83 people were injured.
These workers who have been on the payroll of OIL since the last 25 years have not been regularised.