Petroleum and Gas ministry gets notice on hydrocarbon exploration plans in Cauvery delta

The notice refrained authorities from implementing Hydrocarbon exploration and methane production project in the Cauvery Delta Area and river basin.

Published: 09th November 2019 04:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2019 10:09 PM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Madras High Court (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: A PIL petition has been filed in Madras High Court to restrain Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Director-General of Hydro Carbons at Noida, from implementing the hydrocarbon exploration and production of methane projects in Cauvery delta areas and its river basins in the State.
A division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee, before which the petition from A Marx, an advocate from Mannargudi, came up for hearing on Friday, ordered notice to the authorities concerned returnable by January 7.

Petitioner submitted that farmers in Cauvery delta, the `granary' of Tamil Nadu, are presently facing the danger of being deprived of their livelihood by the implementation of the "ill-advised projects." Despite Tamil Nadu's government's stand against the projects and its decision not to give clearance for projects to produce Cold Bed Methane (CBM), based on recommendations of  expert technical committee, Union Environment Ministry had allotted two hydrocarbon blocks in the State as part of Open Acreage Licensing Policy to Vedanta, with first block measuring 1,794 sq. km in Villupuram and Puducherry and the second block covering 2,754 sq km in Nagapattinam, Karaikal and in Bay of Bengal, in 2018. 

Subsequently, the ministry granted Terms of Reference for drilling 341 off-shore and on-shore oil and gas exploration wells in and around Tamil Nadu, to a unit of Vedanta in the large tracts of lands in Cauvery delta. The main reason for choosing Cauvery river basin is the availability of water and sand. Alleging that hydraulic fracturing process would certainly destroy Cauvery river basin and consequently affect rice production and drinking water for millions of people, the petitioner said the dangers of hydrocarbon exploration resulted in public protest. Alleging that if the lands used to produce food are allowed for exploration and production of hydrocarbon, agricultural lands will shrink in the process which would eventually lead to denial of access to food and Right to livelihood guaranteed in the Constitution.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp