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Friday, September 24, 2021

Gujarat: Two ONGC officials arrested for ‘issuing fraudulent NOC’

Initially, the ONGC had refused any pipeline running beneath the housing society where two blasts had occurred December 22, 2020. However, probe revealed presence of an old defunct pipeline 20 feet beneath the ground wherein the houses impacted in the blast were built.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
September 4, 2021 3:27:39 am
ONGC, kalol, gandhinagar, indian express, indian express news, gujarat news, current affairsAccording to police, a report from Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar had confirmed the old ONGC pipeline contained oil in huge quantity and the test reports showed presence of petroleum hydro carbon in it. (Representational)

Nine months after a pipeline blast in a residential society in Kalol of Gandhinagar claimed the lives of three people, police arrested two officials of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for allegedly issuing a fraudulent No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the builder’s group thereby allowing construction of houses over a petrol pipeline.

On December 22, 2020, two blasts occurred around 7:30 am at House number 158 and 159 at Garden City society in Kalol, which claimed the lives of three persons- Amit Dave (26), his wife Pinal Dave ( 26) and Hansa Dave (76).

Initially, the ONGC had refused any pipeline running beneath the housing society. However, probe revealed presence of an old defunct pipeline 20 feet beneath the ground wherein the two houses impacted in the blast were built.

According to police, a report from Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar had confirmed the old ONGC pipeline contained oil in huge quantity and the test reports showed presence of petroleum hydro carbon in it.

On August 31 this year, an FIR was finally lodged at Kalol Taluka police station against two officials of ONGC- Deepak Narolia, the then LAQ officer related to Land Acquisition in ONGC and Ghanshyam Patel, the then head draft man in the LAQ department of ONGC and other unidentified persons under IPC sections 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, 308 for attempt to commit culpable homicide, 337 for causing hurt by act endangering life, 195 for fabricating false evidence, 196 for using evidence known to be fraud, 120b for criminal conspiracy and sections of the explosives Act. “The developers of the Garden city society had applied for non agricultural land approval (NA) to the district development officer Gandhinagar for a plot of land in Saej village in Kalol taluka and on the basis of NOCs issued by various departments, the land was converted.

“We checked the NOC issued by ONGC back in 2006 and it was clearly written over there that no oil or gas pipeline runs beneath land survey plot 74/1 which was signed by the two accused,” said an official of Gandhinagar LCB.

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