Federation Against Proposed Methane Extraction in Cauvery delta districts has urged both Central and State Governments to scrap the proposed project for methane extraction.

T.Jayaraman, Chief Co-ordinator of the Federation, said that the project, when implemented will turn the delta into a desert.

Underground water should be pumped out to take the coal bed methane and this will deplete the water resources.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry entered into an agreement with the Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd, a US company for extraction of Methane in 2010. During the previous regime (DMK) the state entered into a MoU with the company for extracting Methane in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts in 2011. But the present State Government stayed the project and appointed an expert committee to go into the details and submit a report.

The plan was to extract coal bed methane on 691 sq.kms in Thiruvidaimaruthur, Kumbakonam, Orathanadu and Papanasam taluks in Thanjavur district and Kodavasal, Valangaiman, Needamangalam taluks in Tiruvarur district. For that drilling will be done in 2,000 places. Coal deposits are present in Mannargudi area at a depth of 500 ft to 1,650 ft. Methane in these coal beds will be extracted using hydraulic fracturing.

Explaining the dangers of this project, he said that it will dry up of aquifers, destroy cultivable lands, pollute the available water resources etc. Food security will be threatened and agricultural labourers will loose jobs.

People staged protests against this project in various parts of these districts, he said. Demanding scrapping of the project, an indefinite fast will be observed in Thanjavur from March 17, Mr. Jayaraman said.

The Federation also urged the State Government to declare the Cauvery delta as a protected food zone.