Nightmare for Locals in Part 1
Fracking has some benefits
Fracking or Hydaulic Fracturing is no doubt an innovative process. A big positive is that it will help in accessing oil/gas from deep within the ground. It will help India become more self-reliant on fuel. It helps us conserve foreign exchange, helps insulates us from the vagaries and the drama of the OPEC.
Developing Fracking and Exploration Finesse
Another big plus is that as India and its firms get better at this process and become more innovative we could look at a bigger play in the Energy industry, globally, albeit for the limited time that fossil fuels remain on earth. The Indian IT industry comes to mind with parallels. Our IT industry firms began by ‘body shopping’ but are today amongst the leaders in their respective segments.
Not all rosy about Fracking
But ‘experts’ who claim the process is completely safe (without an iota of doubt) may not be ‘intellectually honest’. Or may lack knowledge about Fracking outcomes in various parts of the world.
Huge backlash in the US and elsewhere
A week earlier (March 10, 2017) , the State of Maryland in the United States voted to ban fracking ( Hydraulic Fracturing) across the state, citing various dangers and consequences, the process/technology causes.
Citizens in UK and other countries too are increasingly objecting to fracking.
A few of the Negatives/Dangers of Fracking
Some or all of the following have already been seen at sites where hydraulic fracturing has been used. Earthquakes, Drinking water contamination, Release of carcinogenic chemicals in the environment, Children suffering from some types of Leukamia.
The initial process of fracking also uses enormous quantities of water. This in itself raises a few questions. In places like drought hit Tamil Nadu, this water is critical for more basic use..
Precious Water becomes poisonous, fine. But how to dispose it safely?
The (carcinogenic) chemicals used would also contaminate this initial water that is pumped into the well. This waste water when flushed out of the well (before production begins) needs to be handled and treated well. Even in very experienced companies and ‘well oiled’ processes, we see slippages.
What steps/checks are in place to monitor and prevent criminal disposal of this water. That too by an operator with limited, if not nil experience. If as per the contract, the contractor’s liability is limited then may God save the locals.
Remember, in the above, we are not even talking about the ‘possible threat’ to the water systems in the project area. We are just talking about the huge quantities of water that is needed to initiate operations which will get contaminated with the chemicals that are used. This contaniminated water needs to be collected and disposed off safely.
Consumers and Citizens Beware! There are Doctors and marketers even on Big Tobacco’s payrolls
Imagine someone certifying that MIC is an harmless chemical and the Bhopal Industrial Disaster happened because the valves and the pipelines were faulty.
Or that, it is not endosulfan, but genetic disorders inherent in parents that has caused diseases and challenges for the people of Kasargod.
The ONGC , the Centre, or the Oil Ministry- Who needs to take Ownership?
Did not the Oil Ministry or the ONGC think it important to get buy-in from all stakeholders before proceeding on this project. Locals from whom land has been taken are also crying foul now. It seems that not only were they not informed about the project in detail but were also paid a total amount smaller than what they would have made annually as part of their normal agricultural work!!!!
to be concluded…….