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Farmers from Tamil Nadu delta welcomes government decision scrapping PCPIR plan

Activists laud government’s intention to protect agriculture, seek ban on use of hydraulic fracturing technology.

Published: 24th February 2020 04:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2020 04:59 AM   |  A+A-

Farmers, Agriculture

Image for representation

By Express News Service

THANJAVUR: The state government’s announcement of scrapping the GO for the creation of the Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) zone covering Nagappattinam, Cuddalore has brought relief to farmers and activists in the delta. They, however, requested the government to the ban use of hydraulic fracturing technology in the delta districts, saying it was detrimental to ecology.

V Sethuraman, State resource person of the Tamil Nadu Science Movement, said the decision to cancel the GO for the PCPIR has demonstrated the Government’s intention to create the protected agriculture zone in a holistic way. These actions of the Chief Minister had created confidence among the public, he added.
He, however, wanted the governnment to clarify on the status of projects that came into force prior to the announcement. 

“From 2016 Vedanta, ONGC and IOC were awarded two, three and one blocks respectively in the delta for exploration. Licence was also granted for hydrocarbon exploration in Neduvasal and Karaikkal,” 
he said.

Shale gas is also a hydrocarbon and to produce this the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is inevitable, Sethuraman said and pointed out that it was banned in several countries because it affected groundwater, and soil health. ‘Need clarification’ P Maniyarasan, coordinator of the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee (CRRC) welcomed cancelling of the GO for PCPIR. 

However he also wanted the Government to clarify whether Vedanta and ONGC would be allowed to go ahead with drilling exploratory oil wells at the 300 odd sites in the delta earmarked for the purpose. The State should clarify whether exploratory works for Hydrocarbon in the delta for which the Union Government had given nod would be allowed or not, Maniyarasan said.

‘Banned tech’ 
V Sethuraman, State resource person of the Tamil Nadu Science Movement, said hydraulic fracturing was banned in several countries because it affected groundwater and soil health. 



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