Tamil Nadu

Farmers welcome scrapping of methane project

Red flagged:Delta farmers had opposed the project saying it would affect the environment and threaten food security.— Photo: Special Arrangement  

: Farmers in the Cauvery delta region have wholeheartedly welcomed Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan’s announcement on Thursday scrapping the coal bed methane (CBM) gas project, a demand which they have been voicing for long.

“This is a good, welcome news for all delta farmers,” rejoiced the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association Mannargudi S. Ranganathan. While the delta farmers could not afford the ill-effects of the coal bed methane project, India cannot afford the cost of shale gas, he observed.

Echoing his words, the chief coordinator of the Anti-Methane Project Movement T. Jayaraman pointed out that the announcement by the Minister sets to rest an idea which was a non-starter, considering the stringent opposition to the project from all sections of the society in the delta region.

“We welcome the Minister’s announcement and hope that there will be no prevarication on the part of the government regarding the dropping of the project. The decision must be firm and lasting,” Prof. Jayaraman emphasised.

In the same breath, the delta farmers also demanded that all shale gas exploration activities in the delta must be ended forthwith.

Sustained agitations by the irate farmers and public of the delta districts have finally forced the hands of the Central Government to drop the coal bed methane project, State president of the CPI (M)-affiliated Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam K. Balakrishnan pointed out to The Hindu . While welcoming the Union Minister’s statement, Mr. Balakrishnan, however, added that the Sangam and fraternal organisations would continue their vigil against unrestrained industrial exploitation of the Cauvery delta.

The Central government must shelve the shale gas project altogether as they have done in the case of the coal bed methane project. It is dangerous to even entertain an idea regarding the shale gas project, which is far more dangerous than the coal bed methane project, according to Tamil Nadu Science Forum’s V. Sethuraman, who was behind the organisation’s systematic compilation of vast data that enabled a successful fight against the two projects.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 4:11:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Farmers-welcome-scrapping-of-methane-project/article16442688.ece

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