Differences between DPR, Tirwun Community in Bauchi deepens over siting of gas plants
Story from Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi
The differences between the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Tirwun Community in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, over the siting of a gas plant has continued to deepen.
Despite that the DPR had allayed the fear of the community on the establishment of the gas plant there; the community still maintains that there was no compliance with the minimum environmental safety requirements for the operations of the facility and hence, it poses danger to thousands of people living in the area.
The Spokesman of the Community, Dr Hayatu Mustafa, reacting to DPR, told newsmen in Bauchi on Thursday that they still maintain the opinion that the gas plant is relocated to a safer environment as the distance between the facility and inhabitants do not meet the regulatory guidelines.
He said, “our attention has been drawn to another unfounded statement by the DPR through Alhaji Abdullahi Iliyasu, the field officer of DPR Bauchi Office and according to him there is ‘no cause for alarm on Tirwun gas plant-Bauchi’”.
Hayatu who is a traditional title holder in Bauchi Emirate Council, Barden Kudun Bauchi, explained that the law for establishing a gas plant is clear about the safety of the environment, and without following the law, the lives of thousands living in the area will be put in danger.
He said, “our position remains that the distance between the gas plant and the Mosque as well as the surrounding properties does not meet standard regulatory guidelines for the establishment of a gas plant. As such, the plant should be relocated forthwith to a safer environment where all requirements would be met.
“We call on the government, the civil society and well-meaning citizens to come to our aid before it would be too late to cry.”
Dr Hayatu said that based on DPR laws, before siting gas plants in public places, the distance must be 50 meters and without any compromise.
He lamented saying, “below is the distance between the surrounding properties and the gas plant: The distance between LPG plant to Babangida Opel Villa is just 5.6 meters (19 feet); distance between the gas plant and Alhaji Hamza’s Block Factory is less than 1 meter; distance between the plant and Dr Isah’s building is 26.9 meters; distance between the plant and Hajiya Fatimah’s building is less than 1 meter; distance between Abdulmalik Sale Yalwaji’s building and the plant is 7 meters; distance between Dr Kawule Tijjani’s building, behind Hajiya Fatimah, is 8 meters; distance between Saidu Hayatu Dukku’s building and the plant is 7 metres; distance between the plant and Hayatu Mustapha’s residence is 49 meters”.
Hayatu, therefore, advised DPR to commence the immediate dismantling of gas plants in petrol stations.
He also called on the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed to order the dismantling of the Tirwun gas plant in order to save the lives of residents of the areas from danger.