‘Two lakh hectares of cultivable land will be affected’

Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the CPI (M) and the Tamil Nadu Science Forum, will jointly organise agitations in front of the district collector’s office at Thanjavur and Tiruvarur on June 4 to protest against the project to extract methane from the two Cauvery delta districts.

P. Shanmugham, sangam’s general secretary, and Karunakaran, Tiruvarur district secretary and Sethuraman, Tiruvarur district deputy secretary, of Tamil Nadu Science Forum, told presspersons here on Friday that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between the State government and Great Eastern Energy Corporation for taking methane in these two districts. The MoU was signed in January 2011.

"If the project was implemented, two lakh acres of cultivable land would be affected. People have lot of doubts and apprehensions about the project. They do not know what the MoU contains. The government and the company should clear the doubts in the minds of the people. Only after removing the groundwater can methane be extracted from the earth. If that was so, where would the water go and what would happen to the groundwater?", asked Mr. Shanmugham.

Methane is taken in Rani Kunj area in West Bengal but it was not a cultivable area by mining area. But the delta was a fertile cultivable area which produced food for Tamil nadu.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had said that schemes were for people and not to destroy their lives. The State government should take steps to stop all works related to the project and scrap the project.