TODAY -

Upcoming Oil Extraction in Manipur: Risk and Reward

Jinine Laishramcha *

oil and mining



Jubilant Energy Private Limited was awarded about 4000 sq km of oil (possible) deposition in the southwest of Manipur after the Eight Round of bidding under the New Exploration License Policy by Government of India. The total area is composed of 2217 sq km of Block 1 in Churachandpur and 1740 sq km of Block 2 inTamenglong and Jiribam under Assam Arakan basin. Production Share Contracts were signed by SK Srivastava Director General of Hydrocarbon and D.N. Narasimha Raju, Joint Secretary on behalf of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India in July 2010 and Manipur Government granted the Petroleum Exploration License in September 2010.

Civil Societies of Manipur including several indigenous peoples have started showing their concerns about drilling and extraction activities since early this year. So far there have been about four or five meetings and protests held against the new project taking resolutions to discontinue the present works of Jubilant and its sub contractors.

The Rewards: Obviously the reward side of the project is very loud; in addition to supply ever demanding oil and gas to certain population of India, it will create jobs, extend benefit to the relevant markets, banking, transport, communication and stock exchange. According to Impact Assessment Reports of the Jubilant Energy the local community will be beneficial of some new jobs and small trades, newly constructed/ improved roads, power supply, schools and other facilities. There will be general development of the area and impact on the local economy.

Contradiction to Sustainable Development; The wave of new campaign of the development attaching to the sustainability has been revitalized by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as Rio+20 which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012 twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. We are to leave a liveable world to our children and grandchildren, with greener, safer economy and wiser consumption of energy. Sustainability calls for a decent standard of living for everyone today without environmental deterioration and without compromising the needs of future generation.

The two Environmental Impact Assessment reports of the two blocks prepared by SENES Consultants India Private Ltd for Jubilant Company mentioned more or less possible damages to biological environment, forest and fauna system, aquatic ecology, water resources, demographic lay out, ambient air, etc. A common fear of oil extraction that least mentioned in assessment reports is the long term impact on water resources of surface and ground that will be affected by drilling activities, release of saline water, accidental crude oil spillage, etc.

One very important potential pollutant known as formation water is not highlighted in the EIA reports. When crude oil is produced, this pollutant comes out along as it is inherent to the oil. This is highly rich in mineral, hot and highly saline hence, unsuitable for human use and endemic forest and fauna system. The contaminated water with various pollutants will cease the cultivation, farming and forest and fauna, drinking water and other associated utilities in the southwest part of Manipur.

According to Dr. R. K. Ranjan, environmentalist, "The area where two blocks lie is within the Indo Burma mega biodiversity hotspot zone. The region is very rich of endemic species of both flora and fauna and is the second largest riverine of North East India. These geophysical facts and botanical and biological systems are not studied sufficiently. Medicinal plants, dense bamboo jungles and other forest resources are very abundant source of the sustainable development that the future we want. As an alternative economy of such resources that also fulfill the principle and justice of sustainable development will be best argument to avoid the oil and gas extraction."

It is also important that how far the green forests that will be destroyed by the project is contributing to oxygen production and mitigating climate change, and how much carbon emission from the extraction process and by consumption of the fossil fuel from Manipur will add to global climate change and warming.

The Assessment of Ogoniland, Nigeria by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2011 revealed the tragic history of the pollution and its sever hazardous impact to human being and environment caused by the oil spill and oil well fires. The Ogoniland community is exposed to petroleum hydrocarbons in outdoor air and drinking water, sometimes at elevated concentrations. The Assessment confirmed that 25-30 years will take to restore a normal condition of contaminated land, groundwater, surface water, sediment, vegetation, air pollution, public health, and the world giant oil company SHELL will compensate millions of dollar. There could be a trade off calculation against the hydrocarbon industry.

Human Rights and Judiciary; In fact the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples 2007 upholds the principle and spirit of the indigenous peoples' rights. There are a good few Articles in the Declaration that highlight the relevancy of the issue of the hydrocarbon and other natural resources. For instance Article 26 and 32 that underline the right to the lands and other resources which they have traditionally owned, and free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands and resources. Nevertheless the challenge is huge, may be because of the non-implementation of the tribal empowerment under Sixth Schedule of Indian Constitution in Manipur.

The common Article 1 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights codified that "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development." Again, it is not applicable to India as this portion of the International Legal Instrument is reserved by her despite she has become a state party since 1979 to the two covenants.

However, Article 51 (c) of Indian Constitution shows willingness of moral obligation towards the respecting the international laws and treaties. The overall the judicial space for the State and local community is rather very limited. Even the space for public and civil societies that will come through process of public hearing may also be exempted as per 7 (i), (iii) and (v) of EIA Notification 2006.

The state government also has very little judicial strength to entertain the hydrocarbon production share on their own soils. The Association of Natural Gas and ... vs Union Of India (Uoi) And Ors. on 25 March, 2004 (Supreme Court) displayed a precedent with following terms

1. Natural Gas including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a Union subject covered by Entry 53 of List I and the Union has exclusive legislative competence to enact laws on natural gas.
2. The States have no legislative competence to make Saws on the subject of natural gas and liquefied natural gas under Entry 25 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.

The conflict; The adverse impact could not limit in the indigenous land and within present Indian territory only; it is beyond and has the similar character of the international water rights and conflict. The saline (formation) water, accidental oil spillage and frequent small scale leakages, swage, surface runoff, drilling cuts and other hazardous oil contents will come down through the creeks and drainages to the rivers namely Barak, Makru, Tuivai and Irang, and carry down to riparian of Surma and Kushiyara of Bangladesh through Assam.

The flow will be buoy up by monsoon pour in the hilly terrain of Manipur, thus the environmental effect will be spread relatively in quicker and shorter period of time in the downstream of Barak valley in Assam and then lengthen stretch in Bangladesh. The hope for flood control in Barak valley with upcoming Tipaimukh Dam is very likely to evaporate.

The existing dynamic though it is dormant someway between New Delhi and Dhaka for time being caused by the proposed Tipaimukh Dam, the forthcoming oil extraction may retain the latent conflict. The political scenario shifting in Dhaka that is very liable anytime within the Awami League and besides if there is the return of Bangladesh National Party, will surface along a highly disputable and tensed situation.

By assessing the future tendency and experiencing past attitude and context of armed groups in Manipur, peace building and guaranty of security is rather exposing to high risk of inter ethnic conflict. On local soil, already there has been smelled violent conflict that associating unofficial bargain on the oil issue somewhere among the certain armed groups. The fear of emerging of interested armed groups in bargaining line will soon aggravate the already compounded challenges and tensions.

The large present of the army and paramilitary forces with impunity of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and their contentious activities will continue to take part in the destabilizing the normalcy and security of the peoples. Their frequent acts in the incidents of the human rights violations and their alleged nexus in inter ethnic or fraternal killings may be active again. The wisdom is to realize how much oil extraction and its issue will cost to peoples and state.


* Jinine Laishramcha wrote this article for E-pao.net (This was earlier published at The Sangai Express)
The writer is Convenor of NE Human Rights Defenders Committee (NEHRDC), Imphal and can be contacted at lcjinine(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on July 30 2012



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Marangwon @Kangkhui Khullen #2 : Gallery
  • Cordillera in North Philippines : Gallery
  • Ithai Barrage and popular resistance
  • Moral education for a harmonious Society
  • Bad unity
  • Career in nutrition and dietetics
  • Locally made product- 'The Lois' launched
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • The want for more
  • Only catchy phrases & alluring documents
  • Expedite FA Rally #1 : Gallery
  • Merger & Manipur State Congress #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 41 :: Poem
  • A recreation park for elderly
  • High-time NE recreate itself as brands
  • Natural skin detox
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 72nd Independence Day by AR
  • Independence Day - for whom
  • Nongpok Thong Hangba
  • Khubak Eeshei @Kang festival : Gallery
  • Punsi Sangba, Mathiupuang :: eMing
  • Arresting decline of higher education
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Tripura
  • Silence :: Poem
  • AFSPA took my father
  • Dark Net: Underbelly of the internet
  • Alternative Arrangement, Article 371A
  • Petition challenging dilution AFSPA
  • Rio for integration of Naga areas
  • Brought NE closer to Delhi: PM
  • Independence Day celebrated in NE
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #1
  • Compressed Earth Blocks: Housing
  • Support breastfeeding among adolescent
  • Ithai: Development Decision Gone Awry
  • Who made the sports university ours?
  • An Unoccupied Forehead :: Poem
  • 'NRC should not be a political issue'
  • Independence Day : Govt needs trust
  • Apprehensions before final pact
  • NNC stand to protect Naga sovereignty
  • 'Delay in solution irks people'
  • Patriots' Day- Floral Tribute : Gallery
  • A shot at survival
  • Demography and Population Studies
  • RPL-PMKVY Certificate at Baishalgarh
  • E-Commerce to help access new markets
  • Manipur Heart Foundation Anniversary
  • Artist lineup for NH7 Weekender
  • Kakching World War-II Memorial Run
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • AMPWA observed Patriots' Day
  • Real homage or just showmanship
  • Drama of political clout at MU
  • Patriots' Day @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Historical War fought by Manipur
  • Where are the nurses in HIV response?
  • Understanding false smut of rice
  • The love song of autumn :: Poem
  • Help Underprivileged Sports Youngsters
  • Police : List of Awardees on I-Day
  • NSCN-IM word on Naga unity
  • Scribes demand colleague's release
  • Jadugi Mingsel :: Folk Tale
  • Patriotism Redefined [On 13th Aug]
  • Karate Winners felicitated at Kumbi
  • Of Citizenship & Manipur People's Bill
  • Seminar : Path & Pattern in Northeast
  • 42nd Indian Social Science Congress
  • Certificate Distribution at Tripura
  • Failure by WPS-IE to arrest rapist
  • Resolutions : People's Democratic Alliance
  • ..Will it burnt the state again
  • ..Now get the killers !
  • 'Homecoming', Painting Exhibition : Gallery
  • Legacy of Resistance in Cordillera Highland
  • Woke Up, But You're Nowhere :: Poem
  • Resurgence of Sanamahism
  • Nagas & Meiteis must live together
  • No change in 1951 as Base Year : JCILPS
  • B. Voc. at DM Community College
  • Young Scholars Conference 2018
  • ..legitimacy of remaining to power
  • The precursor of things to come
  • Khangkhui Cave , Ukhrul #4 : Gallery
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Reform Manipur's Education System
  • Friendship
  • Cry of a Dying River - 40
  • World's Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Chandigarh students' solidarity with MU
  • MU agitator should withdraw their agitation
  • Repercussion of a prejudice attitude
  • Regulate school vans/buses
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Seven Breaths of Dragon :: Book Rvw
  • Chronological framework of NRC
  • Buttering Najmaji in public
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Manipur Tourism : Festival Promotion Award
  • The uneasy shift
  • Well co-ordinated rallies across dists
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #1 : Gallery
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #2 : Gallery
  • Up against the saffron brigade
  • My unsailed ship :: Poem
  • Mathematics and Science Competition
  • General Strike by ATSUM on August 10
  • Drawing Competition at Wapokpi, Bishnupur
  • ADBU delivers course to Indian Railways
  • One man that put Manipur in frying pan
  • Relax MU shut down !
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Robert Naorem @Blr Fashion Week : Gallery
  • Territorial integrity of Manipur
  • The string :: Poem
  • General Strike by KIM on August 8
  • Robert Naorem at Bangalore Fashion Week
  • Dr. Monisha Behal's work in North East
  • Registrations for IIT Techniche workshop
  • PDA on situation in Nagaland
  • The politics of divide: MU
  • Significance of August
  • Mukna Khong Kangjei #3 : Gallery
  • Greater Nagaland or Mini Nagaland? #2
  • Paint Your City : Campaign at Kakching
  • Pemberton line in Kabaw is our boundary
  • Awakening :: Poem
  • Coffee Plantation : In-lieu of Poppy
  • Recalling of AK Pandey by HRD Ministry
  • TSA's reply to KNO/KNA's allegations
  • 21st Manipur Integrity Day : Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #3 : Gallery
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #3
  • Swindling Manipuris in solving Naga issue
  • The Last of the Romantics :: Poem
  • 'Thoughts on MU strategies'
  • Concerned about continued closure of MU
  • Fear factor
  • No takers for 1 month leave
  • View from Shirui Hills #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur as seen by Meiteis, Nagas, & Zo
  • Certificate Distribution at Nirjuli, ArP
  • Contract Jobs available at NIELIT HQs
  • Cry of a Dying River - 39 :: Poem
  • Banana flower vada
  • Entrance for Free Residential IAS Coaching
  • Resolution of NPF Consultative Meeting
  • Concerned about militants' interference
  • Issues : From ILP, MU to FA
  • Emergence Nongda Lairen Pakhangba #2
  • MU Rally at Canchipur : Gallery
  • News Analysis 0f Akashvani Imphal
  • ILP: A Genuine Idea Lost in Translation
  • Tryst with an Alzheimer's patient #2
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • Female DTP faculty reqd at Protocol
  • In between :: Poem
  • Sowing the seeds of Greater Lim
  • General strike on article 371 (A) #1 : Gallery
  • Student is important or AP Pandey
  • Article 371A is sui generis
  • Protection on Land, Environment at TML
  • Press Conference on MU Crisis at Delhi
  • Oppose extension of Article 371(A)
  • DTP-Desktop Publishing course at Nambol
  • Certificate Distribution at Namsai, ArP
  • Rejoinder to KNO/KNA on Moreh attack
  • Issues which burn Manipur State Assembly
  • The brand of politics in MU crisis
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #3 : Gallery
  • August Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Protest against MHRD @Delhi : Gallery
  • People's Strike greets this August
  • Slump in fight against #AIDS
  • What does moonlight want ? :: Poem
  • MU students protest against MHRD
  • An Unknown killer - "E-Waste"
  • Talking peace and threatening others
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #1 : Gallery
  • Dismal Politics in Universities
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Engulfing Uncertainties
  • Ecological, social impact of Ithai Barrage #2
  • Certificate Distribution at Dibang, ArP
  • EEVFAM case: Report for 30 July
  • Pertaining to statement of T. R. Zeliang
  • Issues plaguing the state
  • What is the stand of BJP Govt ?
  • Monsoon Assembly Session : Gallery
  • Election 2019: end of road for Modi
  • The absurd baby talk :: Poem
  • Assam University BTech, MTech Admission
  • Saving the Rhinos - Campaign
  • Arrest perpetrators of Moreh attack
  • Training programmes of NCC
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #2 : Gallery
  • MU: Students clash with Police #2: Gallery
  • Prospects of coffee in Manipur
  • Why ILP should not be implemented
  • Hill students get alert on Trafficking
  • IBSD Meghalaya inaugurated
  • Conference on India-Vietnam
  • Govt's strategically pre planned conflict
  • Heart ruptured but life saved
  • Pseudo intellectuals should stop thinking
  • Mass sit-in protest : How about Nagaland?
  • Folklore genres of Meetei community
  • Kang Khichri chaba : Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram at United Nations, NY
  • Out to clear her name
  • Central team @ BP 81 , Kwatha #1 : Gallery
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #3
  • Pay Nareckpi : Funga Wari
  • Kayada Ningthijaba Lambino : Story telling
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao: Walking from Delhi..
  • Ningol Pali at Kang Festival : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • Art Exhibit @Imphal Art College #1 : Gallery
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS