CHENNAI: The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal on Monday vacated an interim stay on the methane extraction project by the public sector oil explorer, ONGC, in the Cauvery Delta region.
The Bench, comprising judicial member P Jothimani and expert member R Nagendran, passed the order after the oil companies submitted they were not extracting methane now.
One PR Pandian filed an application alleging the ONGC had restarted the work at the project site which led to tension in the area. Pandian alleged that the project was shrouded in mystery as no relevant information had been made public yet.
He also said the permission from the Central and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board was mandatory before extraction. He added that the State government had already stated that permission would not be granted if it affected the lives and livelihood of farmers in the delta region, known as the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu.
On August 5, the NGT granted an interim stay on the project till August 10 stating that it could not accept the contention by the oil company that the permission from the State authorities was not necessary during initial studies.
Meanwhile, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who was present at the tribunal for another case, was appointed as the amicus curie in the case.
On Monday, based on the affidavits filed by the oil companies, the NGT vacated the stay and posted the matter to August 18 for further hearing.