The Tamil Nadu Anaithu Vivasayigal Sangangalin Orunginaippu Kuzhu has claimed credit for stoppage of lignite exploration works in Cuddalore district.
Talking to reporters at Mannargudi on Tuesday, committee president P. R. Pandian said that more than two lakh acres in Kattumanarkovil, Bhuvanagiri, and Chidambaram taluks of the district depended on Veeranam lake for irrigation.
Such being the case, in 2017, the Central government announced its plan for exploring the availability of lignite mineral reserves in the Veeranam lake area but it was not allowed by the then AIADMK government led by the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
However, after the present government assumed office, the district administration granted consent for the exploration. When this was vehemently opposed by local farmers, their voices of opposition were suppressed.
Subsequently, the committee organised State-wide protests citing the Protected Agricultural Zone status accorded to Chidambaram and surrounding taluks in the district under the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Act, 2020 and also organised a fast in Chennai on January 10.
Claiming that the efforts put in by the committee evoked a positive response from the State government, Mr. Pandian thanked Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu for making a statement on the floor of the Assembly that the exploratory works near Veeranam Lake in Cuddalore district had been stopped completely.