Gas supply co admits to leak

Gas supply co admits to leak

TNN | Jan 11, 2015, 12.00 AM IST

KOLKATA: Almost four days after they began digging in the Arpulli Lane area in order to ascertain the exact cause of Presidency University student Sumantika Bandhopadhay’s death, the Greater Calcutta Gas Supply Corporation (GCGSC) on Saturday accepted that there was a “deep leakage” in their main supply pipeline under one of the windows of her room. This follows days of denial of any such leaks by the corporation.

According to the homicide squad and Muchipara police, the breach is at least four inches in width. Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which inspected the area on Friday, howver, said there was no choking of the drain as was initially suspected. The gas supply agency still said it was not their gas that killed Sumantika, while the state forensic lab maintained silence for the fifth consecutive day.

Police are now probing what led to an escalation in the gas leak a week ago that led to Sumantika’s death.

“The gas leaking barely a feet from the window, her weak physical condition that night (suffering from low blood pressure and just out of a high fever) and absence of a ventilator might have accelerated her death,” said a source.

Among those who visited the spot on Saturday was a central forensic science laboratory official, though they are not expected to formally step in before next week.

Veteran cops of the homicide squad said they cannot recall coming across such a case before. “We are hopeful chemical engineering experts from Jadavpur University and professors from Presidency University can help us in our pursuit,” said an officer, adding that they will be banking on Oil and Natural Gas Corporation officials to develop the case.

Arpulli Lane residents now want action against the gas supply agency.

“Imagine a bright student losing her life just to ascertain that there was a breach. Why are there no checks and balances put in place by the agency? There have been reports of breaches earlier at Sobhabazar and Charu Market in 2012,” said a local.

The agency, though, has denied there were any major breaches in their supply lines in recent years.

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