"It has also been decided to engage an international consultant of repute to conduct an intensive third-party audit of its pipeline safety systems and other hydrocarbon installations as a precautionary measure, the statement added."
New Delhi, June 29 - State-run gas utility GAIL Sunday handed over a cheque of Rs.3.89 crore to the East Godavari district collector for paying compensation to families of the victims of its gas pipeline blast two days ago in Andhra Pradesh.

The disbursement of compensation to the individual eligible beneficiaries will begin tomorrow (Monday), GAIL said in a statement here.

The toll in Friday's pipeline blast at Nagaram village East Godavari district rose to 19 Sunday, with one more of the injured succumbing to burn injuries in a local private hospital.

The amount of Rs.3.89 crore comprises compensation of Rs.20 lakh per deceased and Rs.50,000 to each of the injured, GAIL said.

While police have registered a case in connection with the blast against GAIL officials, the company suspended two of its senior officials.

Two senior officials incharge of the regional operations and maintenance of the pipeline network have been suspended, GAIL said.

The government on Friday announced a total ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of each deceased of Rs.25 lakh, of which Rs.2 lakh will be provided from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund, Rs.3 lakh from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and Rs.20 lakh from GAIL.

Assuring the best possible medical care for the injured, the petroleum ministry said GAIL will bear all expenses on treatment, as well as compensate damage to property and crops at market value.

All thatched houses in the affected village will be converted into pucca (brick-and-mortar) houses through CSR funds of GAIL and ONGC, the ministry said.

On pipeline safety, GAIL said it has despatched multiple teams to undertake foot-patrol of every inch of its pipeline network in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin in the state.

Further, the Internal Audit Group of GAIL shall undertake audits to thoroughly check the various pipeline systems across the country and submit detailed report within a fortnight, the company said.

It has also been decided to engage an international consultant of repute to conduct an intensive third-party audit of its pipeline safety systems and other hydrocarbon installations as a precautionary measure, the statement added.

It said GAIL chairman B.C. Tripathi is personally leading the relief and rehabilitation operations.


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