CRA urges government to drop MoUs with oil companies

CRA alleged that the oil companies failed to recognise indigenous people’s rights over their land and resources.

The Centre for Research and Advocacy (CRA) has appealed to the government to drop all MoUs and all granted licenses with oil companies, mining companies, dam building companies etc. “signed without recognising the people’s self-determined rights over their land and their consent”.

A release stated that the production sharing contract and petroleum exploration licenses to oil companies should be withdrawn. All MoUs signed for mining and to build dams should be revoked, it stated. 

CRA expressed their concern on the aggressive pursuance of extractive industries, unsustainable energy projects and large infrastructure projects under India’s East policy. Several MoUs were signed for dam building, oil exploration, mining, agribusiness etc; one of which is with the Jubilant Energy and Oil India private limited in the year 2012 and 2017 without the people’s consent in Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Imphal west districts etc, it stated.

CRA alleged that the oil companies failed to recognise indigenous people’s rights over their land and resources. The government has also signed MoUs with mining companies to commence chromium and limestone without people’s consent, it added. 

It further said that building of large dams continues to pursue despite the controversies of adverse impacts, failures and wastage of public resources by large dams in Manipur like the devastation of Mapithel dam and Loktak project. 

The government should rather ensure the right to health of all in Manipur during this pandemic and accord primacy in improving health care and facilities urgently, it stated. “Development aggression with the military should not be pursued. The government should uphold the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, 2017 and recognise their right over their land and resources with the need for their consent before development intervention on their land, it added.

First Published:Aug. 9, 2020, 11:58 p.m.

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