ONGC relief reaches ryots hit by oil spill - The New Indian Express

ONGC relief reaches ryots hit by oil spill

Published: 17th November 2012 08:25 AM

Last Updated: 17th November 2012 08:25 AM

The farmers of Palavayal village in Kilvelur taluk in Nagapattinam district have a reason to feel relieved despite the loss of crop due to the oil spill that occurred on November 3. The public sector oil giant ONGC has completed the compensation settlement process to all 11 farmers whose fields were badly damaged in the oil spill, creating a widespread environmental damage. Around 15 acres of paddy fields were compensated with Rs 7,08,750 (Rs 47,250 per acre) by the company as agreed during the tripartite talks held between farmers, ONGC officials, and the Nagapattinam district administration.

A revenue department official in knowledge of the development confirmed that the compensation was settled by the ONGC and a copy of the settlement documents was received by the department on Wednesday.

The 11 farmers have now withdrawn the complaint filed against the company for damaging their paddy fields as a goodwill gesture. Speaking to ‘Express’, V Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Protection Association, confirmed that the farmers have received the compensation. He also welcomed the expert team who recently visited the spill site to undertake soil remediation process.

Further, a Nagapattinam agriculture department official said that a team of agriculture scientists headed by Kalaichelvan, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, along with Narayanamurthy General Manager, ONGC and Rajendran of Sikkal Krishi Vigyan Kendra inspected the site first hand.

During the inspection, the team collected soil samples and samples of crop affected by the oil slick to be tested in a lab to assess the damage, and figure out the remediation process. The team collected samples of paddy saplings and soil from the most-affected, mildly-affected and unaffected paddy fields to make a comparative study.

Further, the outcome of the lab testing and study by the TNAU team will be submitted as a report to the Nagapattinam district agriculture department, said a source. Based on the report, the district administration and ONGC is likely to begin the soil remediation.

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