JOYSAGAR, July 23: The Gelakey (Sivasagar) Oil Field Protection and Development Forum, a public body, was formally formed on Sunday in the Gelakey Natya Mandir following a public meeting which was called by the local people and supported by altogether 15 indigenous organizations. The core committee of the public body called an important meeting on Sunday to discuss about the move to hand over the historic Gelakey Oil Field of ONGC to a Canada-based multi-national oil company on lease agreement for about 30 years. The people of Gelakey as well as various organizations have opposed this move of handing over public sector companies to the private sector and said that the process would widely hamper the local people as well as the ONGC itself.
Gelakey oil field was one of the most profitable oil fields of ONGC. The ONGC had started oil exploration in the oil field in 1965 and since then this oil field has been benefitting the ONGC with large-scale production of crude oil and natural gas. Besides, hundreds of local educated youths have got jobs in this oil field and local businessmen have also found many business opportunities. Therefore, the locals and organizations have opposed the move to hand over this oil field to the Canada-based private company. The historic Amguri oil field of Sivasagar under ONGC had already been handed over to Cannero, a private oil company of Canada, about eight years ago and following this, hundreds of local youths lost their jobs. This time therefore, the people of greater Gelakey area came out and staged protest against privatization of the oil field. The protest meeting was presided over by AITUC Sivasagar vice-president Muhibul Hussain.