Imphal, May 3, 2018: Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights has urged Manipur government to stop all form of oil exploration work in Manipur in the best interest of the public and not to continue for the interest of profit making companies.
The youth forum yesterday wrote a letter on to minister of commerce and industries, N Biswajit to stop the ongoing 2 D Seismic Data Collection or Oil exploration in Jiribam and Manipur in general.
The letter urged to conduct social impact assessments, human rights impact assessment, environment impact assessment and cumulative impact assessment and follow the guidelines of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.
It also urged to seek prior consent of the local people and the people of Manipur.
The youth forum president Kh. Phajaton in the letter said since the Asian Oilfield Service Ltd (AOSL) started its survey in Khaidem Loukol in May 2017, along with various civil societies we have been requesting the government to stop all form of oil exploration work in Manipur, however, it is very unfortunate to learned that the exploration work has been started in Uchathol, Jiribam as informed by our volunteers.
It said the company carrying out the 2D seismic survey have 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. It also fails to conduct impact assessments and fails to follow the guidelines of Asian Development Bank and World Bank which is mandatory before the survey license was provided. It has failed complying with the global standard of procedures and violates rights of the indigenous people, added the letter.
We have been experiencing 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. are implemented.
We the youth of the state have been hearing that the companies will provide job to the unemployed youth of the state. What is the job? Has the government trained the youths of the state in the field of oil exploration 15 years earlier ahead?, said Phajaton.
We learned 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 as prescribed under the Oilfields (regulation and development) Act 1948. Why not preserve the agricultural land and produce huge amount of rice which cost Rs. 35 per 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. Our state is running lost after lost, we the youth of the state will not let it happen and protecting our land and environment is our primary task, said the youth forum.