GUWAHATI, Nov 30 - The Golaghat Deputy Commissioner has given orders to immediately stop the seismic survey conducted by the ALPHAGEO (India) in the district. It may be mentioned that the firm was conducting a seismic survey in the Agaratoli range area of the KNP, which is also a Tiger Reserve. The Golaghat DC gave the order in the face of public complaints of a 2D seismic survey being carried out by the firm for oil exploration within a 10-km radius of the eco-sensitive zone of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) area and without necessary clearance from the competent authorities.
Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner of the district had on November 19 last instructed the Golaghat SP and the local revenue authorities of the district to extend support to the ALPHAGEO (India) Ltd in conducting the seismic survey, on behalf of the Oil India Ltd (OIL) in the district.
Now, the Deputy Commissioner of the district has said in his letter (No DDMA/GLT/02/2015/Pt-II/4544 dated 28/11/18) that it has come to the notice of the district administration that the ALPHAGEO (India) Ltd has started the 2D seismic survey within a 10-km radius of the eco-sensitive zone of the KNP, which is a violation of norms. Moreover, the DPO, DDMA had instructed BK Reddy, Party Chief of the firm, to first meet the concerned Revenue and Forest authorities before commencing the work. But the firm did not pay heed to the instruction and started the work within eco-sensitive zone of KNP.
“Therefore, the earlier letter No DDMA/GLT/02/2015/Pt-II/38 Dated 19-11-18 is withdrawn and the 2D seismic survey should be immediately stopped until further instruction/clearance from the competent authority,” said the Deputy Commissioner.
It needs mention here that the ALPHAGEO (India) Ltd started 2D seismic survey in and around Agaratoli area, adjacent to the KNP, from November 22, 2018. The area falls within the No Development Zone (NDZ) of the Numaligarh Refinery Ltd and Eco-Sensitive Zone of the KNP, where such activities are prohibited.
It was alleged by the local environment activists that the firm, or, the OIL, did not have the necessary permission/clearance obtained for conducting such surveys in the area from the competent authorities like the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). They even alleged that the KNP authorities were also kept in the dark about the exercise. Therefore, they questioned the legal tenability of such operations.
Bokakhat-based Jeepal Krishak Shramik Sanghathan led the resistance offered by the local people of Agaratoli to frustrate the OIL’s seismic survey and blocked the activities of the firm for some days. Today, the Jeepal Krishak Shramik Sangathan demanded steps to ban the ALPHAGEO (India) Ltd in Assam and to lodge a criminal case against it.