Farmers oppose proposed move for hydrocarbon extraction

Villagers climb over exploratory well as mark of protest

June 14, 2021 12:15 am | Updated 01:23 am IST - PUDUKOTTAI

Farmers of Karukakurichi village in Pudukottai district staging a protest against the proposed move to explore hydro

Farmers of Karukakurichi village in Pudukottai district staging a protest against the proposed move to explore hydro

A cross-section of farmers and the general public of Karukakurichi Vadatheru in Karambakudi block in the district have expressed stiff opposition to the proposed move by the ONGC to carry out exploration of hydrocarbons in their village.

Their opposition comes in the wake of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’ announcement, inviting companies through international competitive bidding for exploration of hydrocarbons in various locations in the country, including in Karukakurichi Vadatheru.

As news of the proposed move spread, a section of villagers expressed strong resentment by climbing over an exploratory well, established by the ONGC nearly three decades ago in Karukakurichi Vadatheru, opposing any move to carry out exploration of hydrocarbons in their village. The protesters were led by the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam’s district president, M.K. Arokiasamy. This prompted revenue and police officials to visit the village.

Mr. Arokiasamy said the place where it was proposed to carry out the exploration for hydrocarbons fell under the Protected Special Agricultural Zone, covering the entire delta region and parts of Pudukottai district. The protest resorted to by the villagers of Neduvasal and those in its vicinity for over 100 days in 2017, opposing the hydrocarbon exploration project, had necessitated the government to stop the project. The recent announcement to carry out exploration of hydrocarbons in Karukakurichi Vadatheru too will be stoutly opposed. It is a fertile area like the delta region, said Mr. Arokiasamy.

Exploration of hydrocarbons will not just affect farming, but also lead to further deterioration of the water table, he said.

The Tamizhaga Anaithu Vivasayigal Sangakalin Orunkinaippu Kuzhu’s president, P.R. Pandian, who visited Karukakurichi Vadatheru, told reporters that the proposed move by the Centre went against the interests of Tamil Nadu.

T. Jayaraman, chief co-ordinator of the Anti-Methane Project Federation, said the extraction of hydrocarbons through the harmful process of hydraulic fracturing would harm the water table.

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