TIRUCHY: A word-of-mouth information over tender invitation for extraction of hydrocarbons has sparked protests once again at Neduvasal in Pudukkottai district on Sunday. Condemning this decision taken by the central government, farmers staged protests and raised slogans against pipeline planted at Karukakuruchi village, 5 km from Neduvasal.
The rumours over alleged tender invitations called by Centre to utilise defunct pipelines to extract hydrocarbons led to the protests.
"We are hearing several pieces of information that the central government has invited tenders for bidders by July 10. This is totally against the welfare of the farmers and we condemn it. We want the state government to look into the issue and make sure that the project does not take off," said Arokiyaswamy, a farmer from Karambakudi village.
It must be noted that Neduvasal falls under the Protected Special Agricultural Zone (PSAZ) which was passed by the state government in 2020. Under this government order, it prohibits industries from taking up non-agrarian projects in the delta region.
When contacted, senior officials in the district administration said they have not received any official communication in this regard. "No official communication has been received till date, documents of similar nature were received through social media platforms," one of the officials said.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Siva V Meyyanathan, Minister for Environment said, "I will speak regarding this issue to the Industries Minister and Chief Minister MK Stalin. We are not sure why such a tender has been floated. The state government will take necessary action and make sure the project does not take off."
Neduvasal became the centre of attention in 2017, after farmers and residents in the delta region staged widespread protests against a proposed hydrocarbon project, which was to be executed by Vedanta Limited and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited.