Farmers agitation hampers oil exploration work in Bihar

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Darbhanga, Oct 30 (UNI) The oil exploration work of Craine India Limited here came to a standstill today following an agitation launched by farmers who had given their land for the exploration.

Demanding enhancement of compensation, the farmers stopped the exploration work at Havidih under Baheri block of Darbhanga district from this morning.

At least 50 farmers, who had given 4.5 hectares land on one year lease to the multinational company, having its headquarters in Canada, for exploration of crude oil, launched the agitation as they were yet to get the first instalment of the compensation from the company.

Craine India, undertaking the first oil exploration work in Bihar following a positive underground survey last year, had already procured the necessary equipement, including the rig, from an American company for the exploration work.

Though senior representatives of the company held three rounds of negotiations with the agitating farmers, the talks remained inconclusive so far, official sources informed.

Earlier, Craine India, in accordance with the district land acquisition regulation, had agreed to pay Rs 8.5 lakh in June as compensation to the agitating farmers and deposited the amount to the local authorities.

But the farmers were yet to receive any money allegedly because of the apathetic attitude of the officials of the department.

The agitating farmers were now demanding compensation at the rate of Rs 7,800 per cottah from the administration and it was yet to be seen whether the company was ready to enhance the compensation, District Magistrate Arun Prasad said and hoped that the matter would be resolved soon.


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