Bantwal, May 14: The pipeline of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) that is used to pump oil from Mangaluru to Bengaluru and other places got burst at Allaru in Panjikallu village in the taluk in the early hours on Wednesday May 13th. This pipeline burst under the soil and as diesel leaked out in large quantity from the line, the villagers of Panjikallu grew anxious. Luckily, no untoward incident has been reported.
Fire brigade personnel and police rushed to the spot immediately after receiving information. A large hole had opened up at the spot where diesel oozed out from pipes buried deep inside the earth, and diesel flowed through nearby fields. The strong odour of diesel was carried in the air in the region.
A local farmer, who went searching for the source of smell that had spread in the area early morning on Wednesday found out what had happened. He said that he called the HPCL customer care centre’s telephone number as mentioned in the board displayed by the company, but none answered the call. Finally, the officials received the call at around 9.30 am, and visited the spot. Temporarily measures were taken to stop the diesel flow. Already huge amount of diesel had flowed out for a considerable distance and agricultural fields, plantations, and pits were filled by diesel, and an unbearable odour had enveloped the area.
HPCL gas pipeline is also being laid now close to the pipeline meant for transporting petroleum products, and the villagers opine that this may pose additional risks once the gas pipeline becomes operational. They also demanded for shifting these pipelines, as buses and vehicles move on this road daily.
The locals also complained that those who received the call at 9.30 am, instead of responding to the efforts made by locals, rudely spoke to them.
The company officials have undertaken the pipeline repair works till evening and have asked the villagers not to grow anxious.
A large crowd was witnessed in the fuel leakage spot. The locals suspect that the pipeline might have burst due to the intensity of lightning on Tuesday night.