After the intense protest for its traditional sport ‘Jallikattu’, Tamil Nadu turned up for yet another sensible issue – Protest against Hydrocarbon exploration project in Pudukottai.
The project targets on healthy agriculture lands of the village called Neduvasal where people now protesting against the same.
When Oil National Gas Corporation came to explore the land, people around the Neduvasal came together and stopped them from proceeding further.
However, this is not the new issue that is troubling the Centre.
The protest and disapproval for the project started over a year ago when the ONGC occupied the lands belonging to two farmers and made an attempt of oil well drilling works for the project. After the farmers strongly protested, the further works were temporarily stopped at the time.
Meanwhile, farmers believed that the Centre would withdraw this anti-agriculture project sooner or later. On the contrary, the Central government fastened its efforts towards their ambitious project.
They had earlier selected 31 places in India for the project in which the Neduvasal and Puducherry’s Karaikal are among them.
What is even more shocking act of Government is neither there were proper intimation or awareness regarding the project to the people nor they took people’s opinions about the project being happening over there.
If the project starts as per the schedule, there would be a massive downfall in groundwater level and the land would become uncultivable in the village. And the consequences affects not only farmers of Pudukottai but also many parts of Tamil Nadu. There is a huge threat to the lives of five lakh people from nearly 100 villages in Pudukottai.
Neduvasal is well-known for its agriculture-friendly soil that majorly produces grains, sugarcane, plantain etc. Among all other villages in Pudukottai, Neduvasal is the only exception of drought-hit areas at present. Neduvasal comes under Delta regions and it is important to say that the Government had earlier withdrawn Methane project from the same Delta regions in Thanjavur district.
Not many would have come to know these terrible facts if the Tamil news portal hadn’t given significant coverage about the man-made environmental disasters that are about to happen in the tiny place of Tamil Nadu. In one of their video reports, they have clearly explained the after-effects of the dangerous project.
Villagers do have logical questions for which the Centre would blink its eyes forever. ”
Anything that is related to Hydrocarbon is supposed to be carried away in the places that are near the sea. However, this time, why would Government undertake its project in the agricultural lands? The agriculture would be completely destroyed because of this act.
There are court orders’ that states, “If it affects the livelihood of people, agricultural lands shouldn’t make as real estate property”. In that case, who gave the rights to the authorities to turn up the cultivation land into sterilized one by performing Hydrocarbon programmes?”, question the villagers.
India stands in 4th place for the usage of Hydrocarbon, whereas it is in 5th place of importing Hydrocarbon goods. We are importing 75% of Hydrocarbon goods across the world.
While the Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanaswamy has already opposed the project, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy, after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 27th, said he had requested to withdraw the project in Tamil Nadu.
Saravanakumar, one of the farmers who is in involved in the protest spoke to the leading news website on how the project authorities have nearly threatened him to gave up the land for the project. “The methane project stopped from carrying out in Delta regions.
However, in the beginning, they threatened me to gave up our lands to them. There were nearly 50 people came to our house. They surrounded my father and asked many questions regarding our land.
They said we are going to extract Kerosene from our place. After we came to know the truth about Methane, they withdrew the project.
Now, Neduvasal is also one of the Delta regions. That is why they are trying to do oil well drilling works to extract Hydrocarbon gas. If this happens, Sea water will enter into cultivation lands. The officials are hiding the real facts about Hydrocarbon.
There are totally 12 types of gasses in Hydrocarbon family. The first type is called methane. If the oil well drilling works get completed, we do not know what type of gas they are extracting from it.
I have worked abroad for the past 10 years just to buy the equipment used for agriculture.
Now that I have just started doing agriculture. We, ourselves, have very little amount of groundwater available here. So we will protest against this project till our death”.