While the age of pipelines carrying oil and the resultant damage are usually cited as reasons for oil spills, like the one that was witnessed in Kasimedu on April 23, officials of CPCB and TNPCB provided another interesting aspect that could have led to a more rapid corrosion of pipes.
A senior official, who spoke to Express, said sewage pipes laid by civic bodies over the oil pipelines could be contributing to a rapid corrosion of the pipes. “The problem is, the sewerage networks get laid right on top of the oil pipelines that are already old,” said the source.
Officials abhorred the lack of coordination between the civic agencies and the companies to which the pipes belong to. “Most of the times, the companies do not even know if the sewage pipes are being laid. It is only when a leak happens that everyone wake up,” said a senior pollution board official.
Officials also said the idea of shifting the pipelines was not viable at the moment.
“The areas over the pipelines have become densely populated over a period of time. This was not so when the pipes were laid. The same thing (population density) will happen in a few years if we shift the pipes to a new place. The idea should be to strengthen the networks and put in features that would prevent leaks,” said the officials on condition of anonymity.