INDIA: Oil companies in Kochi have upped their surveillance to monitor the pipelines which pass underground through the city carrying highly inflammable oil products.
Apart from deploying foot patrol teams, the companies have roped in the support of local residents who live near the pipe lines to strengthen the monitoring activities.
“Certain pipe lines are of 12 km long. We don’t reveal the actual route map as it is a matter of national security. Though there are no specific threats to the oil pipelines, we have spruced up surveillance considering the changing security scenario,” said official sources in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
The sources said that the patrolling teams walk all along the route on shift basis to check for any suspected activities. “We have implemented a system in which the security personnel of the oil companies frequently interact with the residents living adjacent to the pipelines. We will also train them to report suspected activities or incidents which they notice in the area,” the sources said.
The companies have also implemented state-of-the-art systems to monitor the pipe lines from a control room in the refineries. “We have cathodic protection systems and other devices to check the safety of the pipe lines. Any variation in the pressure will be immediately known at the control room,” the sources added.
Kochi City Police Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar said that though the oil companies have their own mechanism to monitor the pipelines, the city police also conduct routine surveillance on its own. “We also undertake round the clock monitoring of the areas through which the pipe lines pass,” the Commissioner said.