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Unknown gas leaking from ground in Gujarat is methane, confirm experts

August 12, 2011 - Surat

Experts from the National Institute of Hydrology have confirmed that gas leaking from the ground in the Olpad region of Gujarat's Surat District is methane.

"The methane gas which is commonly found in the environment is coming out from the ground. There is danger for people living in this area. Right now the pressure of methane gas leakage is very low," said M.H.S. Sheikh, an environment expert.

"If the pressure increases and methane starts leaking in heavy amount then it could lead to a major accident," he added.

The National Institute of Hydrology recently claimed that gas leakage from an Oil and Natural Gas Commission well had led to groundwater spurting in Olpad.

A report by the institute claimed that cracks developed in the outer casing of the gas well, which led to heavy leakage and later to water spurting.

S. K. Acharaya, a fire officer, said locals living around the leakage site face a threat to their lives, as the leakage could result in a major explosion anytime.

"We cannot see this gas. Gas detectors are there, but it is mostly kept by plant owners. Gas detectors are normally not available with common people. The gas can be detected only after a fire breaks out or an explosion takes place. Then only people living nearby can detect that methane gas leakage is taking place," said Acharaya.

The authorities have been claiming they are equipped to combat any mishap.


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