Won’t permit hydrocarbon project: Tamil Nadu CM

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy announced on Sunday that the entire Cauvery delta region will be declared ‘an agriculturally sensitive zone’ and no projects including the controversial hydro-carbon project will be permitted.

This has brought joy to the farming community, especially in Neduvasal village in Pudukottai district.

Farmers in the region have been agitating since 2016 against this controversial project and have demanded the cancellation of this project.

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This decision of the state government comes even as the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change last week watered down the environmental clearances needed for oil and hydro-carbon exploration projects.

The CM had earlier written to the Prime Minister requesting his assistance in protecting the livelihood of the farmers of the state and in ensuring the water security of the state, even as Tamil Nadu is engaged in a protracted battle with its neighbouring state of Karnataka over the functioning of the Cauvery Water Management Board.

The hydro-carbon project has raised fears of water diversion and pollution in the water scarce region of the state. The state is dependent on these scarce water resources which are considered a lifeline to the entire water deprived state. The farmers also fear the loss of their livelihoods, especially if land has to be secured to enable this project.

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