"Two senior officials incharge of the regional operations and maintenance of the pipeline network have been suspended", GAIL said. The government on June 27 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. (IANS)