Guwahati: A PIL (public interest litigation) has been moved before the Gauhati High Court against the Centre’s nod to Oil India for drilling seven wells inside Dibru- Saikhowa National Park, which is adjacent to Baghjan well tragedy site
Filed jointly by advocate Mrinmoy Khataniar and mountaineer Amar Jyoti Deka on Monday and it was registered on Tuesday.
In the PIL, court’s intervention has been sought against the Central government’s approval to OIL for drilling seven wells inside the Dibru- Saikhowa National Park, a biodiversity site.
The petitioners highlighted that if the company is allowed the drilling, it can impact the entire park area and its rich biodiversity. Citing the recent Baghjan gas well tragedy, the PIL said that activities like drilling can push the park area into danger.
Recently, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) had accorded environmental clearance for extension drilling and testing of hydrocarbons at seven locations under Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, north west of Baghjan in Tinsukia district.
The petitioners have made the Centre and State government as respondents in the case along with Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), The National Board of Wildlife, State Board of Wildlife, Oil India Ltd (OIL), Central as well as State Pollution Control Board.
The PSU major OIL had published an advertisement in a leading English newspaper about the company receiving permission to drill inside the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park on May 19.
Following a massive campaign against the order in social media, OIL said that it would drill the seven wells about 1.5 km distance outside the boundary of the forest with the help of advanced technology.
An OIL gas well located at Baghjan, nearby the Dibru- Saikhowa National Park in Tinsukia district has been discharging gas uncontrollably for the last 23 days and a massive fire broke out in the well on June 9, killed two of OIL’s firefighters at the site. Over 10,000 others were displaced.