|Saikia for all-party fact-finding team visit to Baghjan|
GUWAHATI, June 15 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today urged the Assembly Speaker, Hitendra Nath Goswami, to lead an all-party delegation of legislators on a fact-finding tour to Baghjan and Saleki and other areas that have been in the news recently on account of the gas leakage and fire and grant of permission for coal mining and oil drilling.
“In view of the adverse situation created by the Central Government’s recent steps to allow fresh mining and drilling activity in various National Parks, biosphere reserves and other eco-sensitive zones of Assam as well as the gas leak which commenced in Baghjan on May 27 and culminated in a destructive inferno, I have urged the Speaker to urgently lead an all-party delegation of legislators on a fact-finding tour to the affected areas,” said Saikia.
The senior Congress leader wrote to the Speaker today and observed that the government’s new mining policy has led to adverse reactions and protests among the common people.
He said that “the Central Government had recently eased laws pertaining to protection of the environment in order to exploit natural resources without hindrance”.
“The earlier law had mandated public hearings before permitting new mining and drilling activity in eco-sensitive zones. However, the Central Government recently amended the relevant law and included extraction of oil, natural gas, coal, etc. in the ‘B2’ category solely to avoid holding of public hearings,” Saikia said.
He added that immediate intervention of elected members of the House has become imperative because this sensitive issue would have a considerable impact on the political, economic and social scenarios of Assam in the time to come.