Imphal, May 2,
Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has urged the government of Manipur to stop the oil exploration work in Manipur in the best interest of the public. The forum also urged not to continue in the best interest of the profit making Companies.
A memorandum was submitted to the Commerce and Industries Minister, Govt. of Manipur elaborating on the disastrous impact which might falls out as consequences of the iol exploration presently undergoing at some parts of the state.
The memorandum stated that since the Asian Oilfield Service Ltd (AOSL) started its survey in Khaidem Loukol in May 2017, various civil societies we have been requesting the government to stop all form of oil exploration work in Manipur. Instead of listening to the plea of the CSOs exploration work has been started in Uchathol, Jiribam.
The memorandum further stated that the company carrying out the 2D seismic survey and had failed to seek a mandatory Free Prior and Informed Consent of the people inhabited in and around the area like how it had happened in Khaidem Loukol.
No Social Impact Assessment, Human Rights Impact Assessment, Environment Impact Assessment, Cumulative Impact Assessment had also been conducted as per Guidelines of Asian Development Bank and Guidelines of World Bank which is mandatory for all the Government including Government of Manipur and India before the survey license was provided to any oil companies or other companies implementing any developmental projects.
“Failure in complying with the Global standard of procedures, the Mandate of United Nations Working Groups on Business and Human Rights, mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Rights of the Indigenous People and UN Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous People may lead to violation of International obligations and the liability will fall upon the government of Manipur and India for the violation of the same”, the memorandum stated.
It also mention about the false promises made to provide employment in the early 80’s since the developmental projects like Loktak Hydro Power Project, Mapithel Dam, Khuga Dam, Railway Line etc .
“Till date not a single youth of the state of that time and effected people of the area are provided a single job, instead the people are displaced and are involved in many anti social activities which the government cannot control”, it added.
On the promises to provide jobs to unemployed youth of the state, the YFPHR asked – what kind of job? How many oil experts have been produced from Manipur? Has the government trained the youths of the state in the field of Oil Exploration 15 years earlier before the oil extraction or exploration started? Why not the oil engineers from our state? What had happened to the promises made to the youth of Khuga Dam, Mapithel Dam, Loktak Project, Railway Line, etc? Why again without the long term plan? Why militarization? Why without the people consent?
The memorandum also stated that the Government of Manipur is satisfied with the 10% royalty from the oil exploration or extraction of crude oil by perceiving that it will improve the economy of the state, by receiving Rs. 100/- per 1000 Kg and Rs. 1000/- per 1,00,000 kg as prescribed under the THE OILFIELDS (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 1948 which is equal to Rs 0.1/- per 1 KG. It said if it is the ccase then why not preserve the agricultural land and produce huge amount of Rice which cost Rs. 35/- per 1 Kg which is costlier than the crude oil which the state of Manipur is encouraging to extract in the name of better economy of the state.
It also reminded about the existing negative impact of extraction of crude oil in Madhab, West Tripura and Garbhadhi, Shipaijalla, Tripura which resulted in polluting the Gomati River due to oil spill from the oil pipe line and the impact of gas flaring and extraction of natural gas which resulted in Lung Cancer and other respiratory diseases, also in Wakha District Nagaland polluting the water body and the land which resulted in skin infection and other health issues, also the pollution of Lukha River and respiratory diseases due to illegal and legal coal mining and limestone mining in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya and also the negative impact on the agricultural land, crops and other flora and fauna in the Upper Assam due to extraction of crude oil. We believe that your good office will definitely keep in mind of the unwanted outcome learning from the neighboring states which will definitely arise in Manipur if the extraction of crude oil takes place.