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ULFA opposed to tapping Brahmaputra for oil
K Anurag in Guwahati | December 17, 2006 19:34 IST
The banned United Liberation Front of Asom threatened on Sunday to mobilise public resistance against the Oil India Limited's bid to carry out seismic survey in Brahmaputra river bed to search for oil and natural gas.
In the latest issue of its mouthpiece, Freedom, (a soft copy was e-mailed to the media) the militant group stated that - 'Colonial India must stay away from underground natural resources of Assam. Exploration of oil along the 175 kilometre stretch of Brahmaputra basin would affect the area's eco-system by endangering aquatic life in the river and the neighbouring Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and this plan to extract oil from Brahmaputra is nothing but another attempt to loot our natural resources.
'The seismic survey on Brahmaputra riverbed is a sensitive and national issue. Therefore, the Oil India Limited and government of India are expected honour demand rescinding their decision to explore the river basin. If India chooses to disregard this appeal, they must be prepared to face people's resistance'.
The ULFA made light of the OIL stand that seismic survey in Brahmaputra riverbed has become necessary because of insufficiency of oil in the existing sources, by stating that the state produces 3.2 million tons of crude oil annually.
According to survey report the state is estimated to have over 1.3 billion tons of crude oil and 156 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserve.
The militant group criticised the government of India for giving the go-ahead to the OIL to pursue its plan to carry out seismic exploration for hydrocarbon in Brahmaputra riverbed despite strong opposition from locals and environmentalists.
The OIL signed a $22 million agreement with Kazakhstan Caspi Shelf, a Kazakhstan based oil exploration firm, to carry out two-dimensional seismic survey along 175-kilometre stretch of Brahmaputra River in Assam.