Protest against hydrocarbon project in TN enters 16th day

Chennai, March 3 (IANS) The protest against the hydrocarbon project in Tamil Nadu’s Neduvasal village in Pudukottai district entered its 16th day on Friday.

The protestors decided to continue their agitation till the central government scraps the project, said an agitator.

Pudukottai is around 390 km from here.

“It is a central government project. Our protest would continue till the central government scraps the project in our district,” Parthiban Vairavan hailing from Neduvasal village but working here told IANS.

Welcoming Chief Minister K. Palaniswami’s statement on Wednesday declaring that the government will not give permission for the hydrocarbon or natural gas exploration in Neduvasal village, Vairavan said the project is by the central government.

“There is the possibility of the project promoter going to the court and getting ruling in his favour as it happened in the GAIL pipeline case. In the pipeline case, the state government was against GAIL laying its gas pipeline through farm lands. But the company got a favourable ruling from the court,” Vairavan said.

The Chief Minister had in a memorandum, submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested the central government to stop the project.

“All we are saying is that the project should not come in our district,” he added.

“Many from our village are working in the oil fields in the Middle East and they know the issues involved in the project,” Vairavan said.

He said there are around 60 villages. People from two villages will come to Neduvasal to participate in the project daily as the project would impact farming in the entire district.

According to him, there is no clarity on how the mud taken out while drilling the well will be disposed and the source of water for the project.

“Mostly the water will be drawn from the ground to be injected into the gas well at high force which in turn would deplete the water levels. Farming in our district is done with ground water,” Vairavan added.

Meanwhile, DMK Working President M.K. Stalin after visiting Neduvasal on Friday urged the state government to call a special session of the assembly and pass a resolution urging the central government to scrap the hydrocarbon project.