OIL drilling inside national park: Gauhati High Court fines Assam forest dept for not filing reply

The Gauhati high court has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the state forest department for failing to file a reply in reference to a PIL on the grant of permission to oil India Limited (OIL) to drill for hydrocarbons within the Dibru Saikhowa park.

The division bench was hearing the PIL seeking the court’s intervention against the Centre’s approval to the company for drilling within the forest, that is incredibly wealthy in biodiversity, by amending existing norms like public hearing underneath the draft environment Impact Assessment Notification 2020.

The PIL has raised issues that if the company is allowed to go ahead with the drilling, then things like Baghjan’s well tragedy will manifest itself there too, thereby threatening the complete park.

The matter has currently been fixed for hearing on Nov 19.

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