Oil and gas exploration in Arunachal; no eviction of tribals sans compensation: NHRC


Itanagar, Sep 03, 2022, IANS


Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has informed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that in view of the onshore oil and gas exploration, development, drilling and production by the state-owned Oil India Limited (OIL) in Changlang and Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, "no forceful eviction to be made without paying compensation to the affected persons," sources said.

An NHRC order said that in view of the assurance of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry, it (NHRC) closed the complaint against alleged forcible eviction of the Chakmas and Deoris tribals.

The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) filed a complaint with the NHRC on January 20 against attempted eviction of the Chakmas and Deoris tribals by the state government in connivance with the OIL without paying fair compensation under the provisions of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013.

With the aim to not pay fair compensation and rehabilitation as required under the LARR Act, the state government had earlier claimed that the lands are under the forest areas.

The CDFI had told the NHRC that the Chakma and Deori tribal families are "project affected families" as per section of the LARR Act.

For decades, Moddaka Nallah village in Changlang district is resided by the Chakma tribe and Sompoi-II village in Namsai district resided by the Deori tribe.

The Chakmas have been settled in the Moddaka Nallah village in 1966 and the Arunachal Pradesh Governor in a notification on August 31 renamed Moddaka Nallah village as Modduknong.

"This protective order of the NHRC would go a long way to ensure the rights of the project-affected Chakmas and Deoris tribals," CDFI Founder Suhas Chakma said.

He added that the project-affected families are not opposing the oil drilling project per se but seeking the compensation as per the LARR Act which the Forest Department is denying as it seeks the compensation for itself which is illegal and unfortunate.

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