Public discussion resolves to oppose oil exploration

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IMPHAL, July 29: The public discussion organized by the Committee on Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur at Jiribam today resolved to oppose the public hearings of Manipur Pollution Control Board regarding proposed oil exploration at Jiribam, Parbung and Nungba.

The public consultation was organized at Jiribam today to discuss the issues and challenges of public hearings on petroleum exploration in Manipur scheduled at Jiribam, Parbung and Nungba respectively on July 30, August 7 and August 17.

The committee endorsed and supported the resolutions of the state level convention on petroleum exploration in Manipur at Manipur Press Club on July 16, the resolutions at Jiribam and Nungba meet on Oil Exploration in Manipur on December 22, 2011 and March 14, 2012 which resolved against oil exploration in Jiribam (Imphal East), Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts of Manipur.

Expressing concern that the Manipur Pollution Control Board and the Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited has called for public hearings at Jiribam, Parbung and Nungba only after all processes for exploration and drilling of petroleum in Manipur, including surveys and signing of contracts and agreements with the Government of India, Government of Manipur and the oil company has already been completed.

The committee considers that the public hearings are meaningless processes and moves to falsely claim support of all indigenous peoples of Manipur. 

The public hearings is a limited and flawed process which will only consider the environmental issues and not the issues of land, socio-cultural, rights, and other survival issues of present and coming generations.

The committee objects the incomplete, misleading portrayal and undermining of the rich natural, cultural and other heritage of Manipur by the draft Environment Impact Assessment prepared by SENES for Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited.

There is no process to take the free, prior and informed consent of all indigenous peoples on Oil Exploration in Manipur. Details of Key documents such as Detailed Project Report, the Production Sharing Contract and Petroleum Exploration Licensing agreements remains concealed from the people.

The committee further resolved that the Government of India and the Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limted should stop all petroleum exploration and drilling in Manipur. And in this regard also to stop all petroleum exploratory survey works of Alpha Geo Company and others in Manipur.

It was also resolved to oppose Public Hearings on Oil Exploration in Manipur at Jiribam, Parbung and Nungba as public hearings has failed to recognize community’s rights and aspirations as evident by the public hearings processes of proposed Tipaimukh dam.

The committee also demands the Government of India to suspend all Contracts Awarded to Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on 19th July 2010 for the two oil blocks in Manipur unless and unless all issues are resolved as per the wishes and aspirations of all the indigenous peoples.

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