Thursday, February 2, 2023

Gauhati High Court stays new drilling activities near Baghjan, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

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The Gauhati High Court on Monday stayed the exploration and drilling activities in and around Baghjan and the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court, comprising Chief Justice (Acting) N. Kotishwar Singh and Justice Sri Manish Choudhury, passed this order while hearing a Public Interest Litigationin filed by Advocate Mrinmoy Khataniar and mountaineer Amar Jyoti Deka seeking a stay on the Environmental Clearance order dated May 11, 2020 for non-compliance of an order of the Supreme Court which required OIL to conduct the Bio Diversity Impact Assessment study.

The PIL raised a number of serious objections to the approval for hydrocarbon exploration, including an exemption to public hearing, during the clearance process.

Moreover, the environmental clearance issues over granting permission to the Public Sector Enterprise (PSU) to drill seven wells inside the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam was also highlighted in the PIL.

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The Court, on being satisfied that OIL had failed to carry out the standard prescribed procedure, has stayed exploration and drilling of 7 hydrocarbon projects in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.

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