Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Volunteers working to divert the oil contaminant from a stream at Kanto Sabal village just below Leimakhong Army HQ

Government Initiates Swift Action: High-Level Meeting Addresses Leimakhong Oil Spill Crisis

Waari Singbul Network | 12 January 2024


Imphal: Following the notorious heavy fuel leakage at the Leimakhong power plant in Kangpokpi district, a high-level team led by Manipur Chief Secretary Dr. Vineet Joshi, accompanied by a Central team including scientists and seven administrative secretaries, visited the site to assess the impact on nearby villages in Imphal West district. The team examined the security situation, collected samples of the fuel and contaminated water, and investigated various aspects of the area.

A day earlier, Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, in response to the incident, declared that state security forces would safeguard the plant. He also formed a three-member panel, chaired by additional DGP Ashutosh Kumar Sinha, to probe the incident. Biren Singh, expressing relief on Facebook, stated, “The scheme of the miscreants to contaminate Nambul river, Imphal river, which merge into Loktak lake, has been foiled by the grace of God,” and urged the public to remain vigilant.

While the thick black oil was prevented from reaching major rivers, affecting Kanto Sabal and its adjacent villages, the contaminated water remains a concern. An order issued by Manipur joint secretary (Home) Mayenbam Veto Singh outlined the probe panel’s composition, with a 15-day deadline for submitting the inquiry report.

Simultaneously, a faculty team from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Manipur, inspected the contaminated streams in Leimakhong 

Following their inspection of the affected sites and the power plant, the experts participated in a high-level meeting led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to address the January 10th oil spillage incident in Leimakhong.

In attendance were Chief Secretary Dr. Vineet Joshi, IIT faculties, Indian Coast Guard representatives, and officials from various departments. The meeting focused on discussing prompt government responses to effectively control the heavy fuel spill into streams.

The government’s commitment to resolving the issue is evident, with the affected area sealed and ample security forces deployed. An FIR has been registered to address the heavy fuel leakage from Leimakhong Power Station. The government is dedicated to identifying the incident’s cause and ensuring a comprehensive remediation process.

On the other hand, Thawai Mirel, an Imphal-based organization, alleged that the heavy fuel release was intentional, part of a “genocidal campaign” against valley area residents. The group called for a thorough investigation and legal action against those involved.

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