KOHIMA, Jan 23 – A Nagaland Government Cabinet sub-committee on exploration and mining of petroleum and natural gas would soon submit its report to the State Government recommending fresh modalities for production of oil in the State, an official release said here.
The release quoting Member Secretary of Cabinet sub-committee and Agriculture Production Commissioner H K Khulu, said the oil spill issue in Champang area in Wokha district would be addressed by the State Government. He asked the land owners and Department of Geology and Mining not to take any initiative on their own to deal with it, it added.
The committee members recently visited proven oil fields of Wokha district and inspected some of the abandoned oil rigs where oil was spilled causing environmental concern.
ONGC, which had earlier undertaken exploration and production in Champang and other areas in the district, had to leave the oil fields in May 1994 following violent protest by undergrounds and student activists.
Since then the State Government has been attempting to resume oil production in the area with a fresh set of modalities to be executed with the production companies.
The government set up a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Planning Minister T R Zeliang to study and recommend pros and cons of resumption of oil production in the State.
Khulu said the sub-committee members while visiting the area explained to the villagers about the government’s intention where maximum possible benefits are accrued to the State and to the local stakeholders.
So, at this stage when the sub-committee is about to submit its report to the government, the land owners should not complicate the matter by inviting ONGC to clean up those spilled rigs, he said.
The panel learnt the Department of Geology and Mining had invited ONGC for a joint verification of the oil spillage in Changpang without any consultation with the Cabinet sub-committee, and asked the department not to take any initiative on its own in this regard. – PTI