Tripura CPI (M) protests against allowing Vedanta in exploration work

Agartala, Jan 3 (UNI) The opposition CPI (M) has protested against the decision of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, which allowed private exploration company Vedanta Limited to go for oil and natural gas exploration work in the state along with state owned Oil Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC).

According to report, Tripura government has proposed centre to allow Vedanta group to conduct exploration work in the state to prevent the monopoly of ONGC, which has been paying minimum dividend to the state for past four and half decades of it’s existence in the state.

According to report, the state government has been contemplating for competitive exploration work not only for getting high dividend also to spread the exploration work across the state, as ONGC alone is not capable of doing the work in massive scale. Tripura has a huge base of natural gas and hydrocarbon, which has not been harnessed properly.

Moreover, recently Bangladesh based exploration companies started deep drilling activities in bordering locations of Tripura by which India is feared to get an adverse effect in it’s hydrocarbon deposit. But ONGC has not even in the position to scale up it’s activities in desired level though there is a huge demand of natural gas as fuel for industrialisation and domestic use, a senior official said here today.

“A big project of fertilizer is held up in North Tripura, gas based thermal power projects in Monarchak and OTPC has also not running to it’s full capacity despite having huge investment in infrastructure, Tripura Natural Gas Company Ltd (TNGCL) could not provide pipe line gas to all households in the state and ensure CNG supply across Tripura due to inadequate gas supply from ONGC that prompted the state government to persuading for involvement of more exploration agencies,” the officials argued. 

The ministry has already given clearance over the issue in favour of Vedanta group anticipating that it will have a positive impact on the state’s revenue and development activities. However, if Vedanta group applies for obtain statutory license for exploration in Tripura and subsequent marketing, the state government will consider them.

Meanwhile, CPI (M) state committee opposed the move and demanded to roll back the decision arguing that this will affect the state future of state owned navaratna company ONGC. The party release said, “It is a step towards weakening one of the best profits making public sector undertaking in the country by favouring private parties, which is morally incorrect.”

The previous congress government in the name of introducing open market economy and economic liberalization had made out the way for favouring private companies ruining the state owned companies and enterprises and Modi led government is relentlessly leasing out the interest of the profit making state owned companies to private groups, it alleged.

However, BJP state committee denied the allegation of CPI (M) and argued that the then government had also allowed a few blocks to Jubilant group for exploration work during left front rule in Tripura and still it’s existence is there. Forgetting the past, CPI (M) trying to make it an issue, as they did not want development of the state and proper monetization of it’s wealth.
“Tripura could have been a best state in the country in terms of development at least a decade ago if there was no communist rule. In the name of proletariat ideology they are sacrificing the larger interest of the people of the state,” alleged BJP Spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee.