NGT directs Assam government, OIL to file counter affidavits
NGT has directed the Assam government and Oil India to file counter affidavits in relation to the petition challenging the environment clearance granted to OIL allegedly in violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006.
GUWAHATI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Assam government and Oil India Limited to file counter affidavits in relation to the petition challenging the environment clearance granted to OIL allegedly in violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006.
The NGT order on Wednesday was based on a petition by Assam-based conservationists Bimal Gogoi and Mridu Paban Phukan, challenging the environment clearance granted on April 9 last year to OIL for the proposed onshore oil and gas development drilling and production in Mechaki area covering Mechaki, Mechaki extension, Baghjan and Tinsukia extension petroleum mining lease (PML) areas in Tinsukia district.
The NGT’s bench comprising Justice B. Amit Sthalekar and expert member Saibal Dasgupta granted Oil India Limited and state of Assam four weeks for filing their counter affidavit. “We make it clear that these two respondents shall communicate the e-copy of their counter affidavit to the applicant and the other counsels for the respondents at least one week before the listing. We also direct counsels for the respondents to serve e-copy/soft copy of their counter affidavits to all the respondents as well as the applicant within 48 hours,” the NGT bench said.
The petition contended that the proposed project is stated to be in a “highly ecologically sensitive and fragile area”, with the Mechaki Block being a part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve. Moreover, it is located in close proximity to the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and the Maguri-Motapung Wetland Complex.
Arguing against the expansion project which proposes addition of 16 new wells for exploration as well as laying of pipelines, the petition said, “The Mechaki Block PML is stated to be in close proximity of other PMLs…according to the Appellant, none of the projects have been considered for cumulative impact.”