Strict opposition to oil exploration from Jiribam people

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Manipur, JIRIBAM, July 30: The people of Jiribam have strongly raised opposition to oil exploration in the state in a public hearing held at Jiribam Town Hall today.

The public hearing organised by Manipur pollution Control Board (MPCB) is held in relation with Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report on Exploratory Drilling Activity at AA-ONN 2009/2 Block I and II, Manipur. The AA-ONN 2009/2 is the codename of Production Sharing Contract signed between the GOI and Netherland based Jubilant Oil and Gas Pvt Ltd (JOGPL) on July 19,2010 in New Delhi.

Protest rally at Jiribam against oil exploration in the state on Monday.

During the minute proceeding of the hearing which is presided by Addl Dist Magistrate, Jiribam Y Iboyaima as Chairman of the panel members and warmly greeted by empty chairs (few people are present) Ajay Bisen on behalf of the JOGPL Noida made a power point presentation about the salient features of the proposed project in English and the same is presented to Manipuri and Bengali language by the interpreters. Ajay’s presentation included Draft EIA Report on Aa-ONN 2009/2 which is prepared by SENES Consultants India Pvt Ltd gor JOGPL.

But just after the presentation when views and comments from the public is call the few participants in the hearing happens to be the protestors against the proposed project .They produce banner which is printed like “NO PETROLEUM EXPLORATION & DRILLING IN MANIPUR” and shouted similar slogans .The police try to pacify the protestors by snatching their banner and MPCB officials intervened and allow to express their comments.

Secretary of Jiri Ima Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (JIMPAL) said that the project proponents only mentioned the benefits of it and nothing demerits has been has been mentioned in the presentation She also expressed objections to the project.

While opposing the project Village Authority Chairman Council of Tousem sub-div of Tml dist  G.Issac said that  the project has been finalised without their consent.

Former Chairman of Jiri Municipal Council Tahenmang Panmei expressed reservations with the project as it would affect the flora of the region and suggest the project proponents to undertake further studies on the impact to the local environment.

It is said that altogether 32 representations were submitted by 31 village authorities including one from Committee on the Protection of Natural Resource in Manipur.

Convenor of the panel members of the public hearing was Member Secy of MPCB K.Jagadisor and the members are Sr Enviromental Engineer,MPCB  N.Minaketan,Dist Forest Officer ,Jiribam Forest Div W.Yaiskul Vice President(Projects)Apoorva Ranjan.Addl Sp,Jiribam  O.Menjor was also present at the function as Special Invitee.

Meanwhile a protest rally is held here to protest the proposed oil exploration project in Manipur.The rally organised by Committee on the Protection of Natural Resource in Manipur  starts fro Jiribam Hr Sec School and proceeded upto the venue of the public hearing.School students and people from different communities participated in the rally which is blocked by the police near Jiri Town Hall.

And to protest against the public hearing shops and establishments including schools and college remain close after the rally.

It may be mentioned that a public discussion held in Jiri on Sunday resolved to oppose the public hearing on the said Project.

In the second session of the hearing held at the same venue in the afternoon the same power point presentation was made by Ajay Bisen of JOGPL Noida.

During the proceeding. Majabung Gangmei of Tml dist raise questions like “How much money  you( JOGPL)have given to the non-state actors’,”has the GoI/GoM  ask you to associate with the non-state actors” and “How do you collect their signature and when and where”.But the same matter is not included in the proceeding of the hearing

But michrophone from Majabung was snatched by organisers and told him to spoke only about the environmental matters.

The next public hearings is scheduled to be held at Parbung in CCP dist on August 8  and at Nungba in Tml dist on August 17.

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