Baghjan villagers demand halt to drilling of oil wells

GUWAHATI, Dec 7: Villagers of Baghjan staged a sit-in protest in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum demanding a halt to “illegal” drilling of oil wells in the area by Oil India Limited (OIL).


The two-hour sit-in demonstration was staged under the banner of Baghjan Gaon Yuba Milanjyoti Sangha (BGYMS) with members holding banners and shouting slogans against the awarding of tender for oil drilling to John Energy Ltd, a Gujarat-based private firm, by OIL.


“John Energy Ltd has once again been given the tender to drill oil wells at Baghjan despite being a black-listed company (against whom an FIR was also registered for the Baghjan gas well blowout). We fail to understand why OIL has given the tender to the well operator again,” BGYMS president, Satyajit Moran said.


“We do not want this company to engage in drilling of wells which is illegal in Baghjan. At least 27 oil fields are in operation in Baghjan and OIL is planning to set up seven more oil fields in Baghjan. We strongly oppose this move of OIL,” he said.


Moran further pointed out that the Gauhati High Court has already stayed the Centre’s permission to OIL to drill seven wells inside Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.



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