Engineers want licence for methane project cancelled

The government should withdraw the licence granted to the Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited for methane extraction in the Cauvey delta districts so as to protect the livelihood of farmers and the invaluable irrigation infrastructure, said A. Veerappan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers Association.

Speaking at a daylong seminar against the project organised by the association here to sensitise people and farmers of the Cauvery delta to the impact of the project, he said the project, if implemented, would reduce 667 sq.km in the Tiruvidaimaruthur, Kumbakonam and Orathanadu taluks in Thanjavur district and Kudavasal, Valangaiman, Needamangalam and Mannargudi in Tiruvarur to a salt bed.

He appealed to Chief Minister Jayalaithaa to persuade the Centre to revoke the environmental clearance granted to the project by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

P. Maniarasan, coordinator of the Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, said village-level committees were being constituted in all taluks where extraction wells would be drilled. Villagers were not fully aware of the adverse impact of the massive groundwater extraction on their livelihood. Ground and surface water would be poisoned by the use of chemicals for separating methane from other geo-minerals.

V. Dhanapalan, general secretary of the Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, and K. Manimozhian of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam commended the efforts by the association.

Mr. Maniarasan released a compact disc and a booklet on the impact of the project. The first set was received by S. Muthukumaran, former Vice-Chancellor of Bharathidasan University.

Protest in Sirkazhi

Meanwhile, 29 members of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam were arrested when they took out a procession to the Sirkazhi railway station to block the Cholan Express, demanding that the project be scrapped.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 2:38:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/engineers-want-licence-for-methane-project-cancelled/article6345611.ece

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