Jorhat, Oct. 4: Activities of the Oil India Ltd are likely to be hit with the powerful All Assam Moran Students’ Union taking the agitation route against the company alleging it has been playing with the people’s sentiments in Upper Assam.
The students’ group has decided to stop the activities of OIL in Upper Assam districts from October 6. “We have waited for long for the company to respond to our demands and repeated requests to hold discussions. But we will wait no longer,” union general secretary Probodh Baruah told The Telegraph today.
Baruah said in the first phase, a 24-hour agitation would be held at OIL installations in Upper Assam, including oil fields, from Sunday.
“We will launch a series of agitation against the company from Sunday and we will not rest unless our demands are met,” the student leader said.
The development comes at a time after OIL claimed it had suffered huge losses during the 2012-13 fiscal because of frequent agitation programmes called by numerous organisations in the three districts of Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia.
OIL sources said if the company’s work gets disrupted, the impact would be felt in the entire state as it supplies oil and gas to tea gardens and thermal power projects.
The company supplies gas to more than 350 gardens through the Assam Gas Company Ltd, the Kathalguri project of Neepco and the Lakwa thermal project of Assam State Electricity Board.
Baruah said the union had submitted a formal letter to the company on September 3 to hold discussions but there had been no response.
He alleged that though OIL has been claiming the company is dedicated to carry out development activities in its areas of operation and has been spending a huge amount in this regard, the reality is completely different. “There are no development activities being carried out by the company in Upper Assam, especially in Tinsukia where it has several oil fields. The roads in the interior areas are pathetic,” Baruah alleged.
Baghjan, Berakuri, Makum, Halfjan, Digboi oil fields in Tinsukia district are the most important hydrocarbon reserves of OIL.
Baruah also alleged that OIL had failed to keep its promise of recruiting local youths, especially from the Moran community.
An OIL official, however, said the allegation that the company was not carrying out development activities in its areas of operation was baseless.
“The company has been spending 2 per cent of its total profit in development activities under corporate social responsibility schemes and a large chunk of these funds was spent for the Northeast, especially Assam,” he said.
The company’s profit touched a new peak of Rs 3,589.34 crore this fiscal, an increase of 4.13 per cent over the previous year.
On not recruiting local youths, the official said they have been recruiting through employment exchanges and there was 100 per cent recruitment of locals in the unskilled sector.