CM launches Pre-Production on Oil and Natural Gas Operation in Peren
‘Time to implement constitutional provision in letter and spirit’
Old Jalukie, September 22
Despite the call for boycott by several organisations and villages, Chief Minister TR Zeliang today official launched Pre-Production on Oil and Natural Gas Operation in Peren district today. The Operation would be carried out by Metropolitan Oil and Gas Pvt Ltd (MOPGL), New Delhi in the three villages of the district – Old Jalukie, Mhai-Dungki and Old Beisumpui.
Addressing the gathering, Zeliang said it is a red-letter day for the district as it is entering into a new venture. Reacting to calls for boycott, he said “when new things happen lot of controversies also arise, but I am hopeful that it will fade away slowly, provided the company proves as per the memorandum of Agreement”.
He said that during these 10-years of pre-production period, the Company would conduct all forms of survey to find out the availability of crude oil in the region.
During the period he said that the land owners would be given Rs 10,000 per sq km as land access fees while new agreement between the land owner, government and the company would be signed with respective tribal hoho as witness once presence of crude oil is confirmed.
On the doubts of the people that MOPGL would also cheat Naga people like ONGC, which was suspended in 1992, he clarified that these is just survey period and the company cannot take even a litre of oil beyond the state without the authorization of the State government.
He asserted that the government or the company would not force any village to accept the Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 2012, but those accepting it would surely benefit as it is the rule framed by the State Assembly for the betterment of the people of the state.
He also maintained that as per the landholding system of the state, every village have their right to accept or reject the NPNG Rules, and therefore nobody from outside the respective village should try to interfere into other’s desire.
He also asserted that if the government or the people are not satisfied with the functioning of the MOPGL within the first six months, the agreement will be reviewed.
He also said that Nagaland Statehood was attained through the Naga People’s Council 16-Point Agreement. Though the Government of India did not accept all the 16-Points, but Nagaland was given a special status with the insertion of Article 371(A) in the Constitution, which has given the right to the State Assembly to reconsider the applicability of the Act of Parliament and also frame its own rules and regulations.
Therefore, he said that Nagas have always been talking of the rights enshrined in the Constitution through Article 371(A), but it has never been done so in the past. He therefore said the State Assembly in July 10, 2010 reiterated to uphold the Article.
He said the NPNG Rules have been framed to safeguard the rights of the land-owners and people of the State, he said adding that if the Naga people are willing to accept the Rules passed by the Assembly that would be infringing our own rights. Because, he said, if we are not satisfied with the rules set by the Assembly, we can amend it for betterment but once the Central rules is implemented it cannot be moved by us.
He also appreciated the Opposition Congress members in the state for supporting the passing of the NPNG Rules in the Assembly. He also lauded the three villages stating that their decision would benefit the entire Peren district.
Asserting that nothing will move without the landowner, village and tribal bodies agreement, he said if the Oil exploration becomes a success, Nagas will be able to stand in our own feet and will not need to ask for funds from the Central government.
He also called upon the company to be sincere and transparent while conducting survey and subsequent exploration of the area for oil.
MOPGL Director Sameer Rajpal asserted that the company is committed to conduct the operation sincerely. He also assured that once works commence the company would not only indulge in oil exploration but also take corporate social responsibilities for the development and progress of the area.
Naga Hoho president Chuba Ozukum said Nagas had wanted to explore and exploit the natural resources, including oil and minerals only after arriving at an acceptable solution of the Indo-Naga political imbroglio. Nevertheless, he said with change of time, Nagas have to take up the best opportunity. He also asserted that the Hoho has endorsed the NPNG Rules of the State government. He appealed to the land owners and villages to cooperate the support the state government in bringing all round development of the state through such initiatives.
Representatives from Old Jalukie, Mhai-Dungki and Old Beisumpui speaking on behalf of the land owners asserted their willingness to take up the pre-production operation in their respective villages. “We have mutually accepted the agreement and will extend all out support for the success of the operation,” they said.
President of Zeliang Baudi (N) while asserting to extend all necessary support for the success of the venture, said “if there are any lapses in the agreement, it can be sorted out across the table instead of confronting with each other”.
Kyong Hoho president Yansathung Jami said that the NPNG Rule has brought about sovereignty of oil exploration and this would surely help the Naga people economically.
Home Minister Y. Patton, MLA Namri Nchang, Director Geology & Mining SK Kenye and NPNG Board Member Bendang Longchari also spoke on the occasion.
The programme commenced with prayer by Pastor of Old Jalukie Baptist Church, Zieroying. It was marked by presentation of traditional songs and dances by different villages.
Even as boycott call was made, Old Jalukie village was jam-packed not only with 17 ministers, parliamentary secretaries, but host senior bureaucrats and villagers attended the launching ceremony.