SIVASAGAR, May 18 - The Sivasagar district unit of the All Assam Students� union has flayed the Petroleum Ministry�s decision to hand over seven high-yielding ONGC oilfields to private parties at a time when the entire country is in lockdown due to the corona pandemic. The fields include Demual Gaon, Naharhabi, Sonari, Panidihing, Changmaigaon, Suffry and Desungmukh.
A press signed by AASU leaders Ashim Dutta and Samiran Phukan, the student body severely criticised the decision and said that it was a conspiracy against the State and its people. AASU vice president Manik Gogoi and education secretary Sarat Hazarika also condemned the attitude of the Ministry and said that any privatisation move would be opposed tooth and nail.
The AASU leaders said that the ONGC has totally neglected their demands for upgrading the district as a heritage district and has sold it out to private parties in collusion with the Ministry of Petroleum. It said that all the seven oil fields are very productive as Demual Gaon field produces about 450 cubic m, Sonari-Suffry field produces about 50 cubic m and the Desungmukh and Changmaigaon 30 cubic m per day. Further, millions of rupees have been spent on the Assam Renewal Project to modernise and upgrade the production capacity of these fields. The AASU questioned the rationality of spending so much money under the project and then handing them over to private parties.
The AASU alleged that the Petroleum Ministry has not only leased the fields out to private parties for exploration and production for 15 years, but also has given them rights over marketing their products which will adversely affect the economy of the State. The AASU Sivasagar district unit threatened the PSU of dire consequences if it does not roll back the decision.
Meanwhile, the ED of ONGC, Sanjeev Kakran, did not receive the phone when contacted but the officer in charge of Corporate Communication, Jameel Pasha told this correspondent that the matter was taken up by the Ministry of Petroleum, Government of India and hence the ONGC has nothing to do with it.