Tamil Nadu

Move to explore hydrocarbon at Karukakurichi Vadatheru opposed

Farmers affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam staged a demonstration at Keeramangalam on Tuesday opposing the proposed hydrocarbon exploration at Karukakurichi Vadatheru village in Karambakudi block in Pudukottai

The demonstrators urged the Centre to withdraw the move immediately. If it failed to do so, there would be a mobilisation of farmers and the general public, they said.

About 45 members, wearing face masks and adhering to personal distancing, staged the stir for about 15 minutes in front of the Keeramangalam bus stand. They were led by the Sangam’s Tiruvarangulam union general secretary T. Selvaraj.

The demonstrators said Karukakurichi Vadatheru village was a fertile area and that they would block any move that would destroy cultivable lands. The Centre’s “arrogant” attitude on this issue would not be tolerated, they said.

Mr. Selvaraj pointed out that a series of protests resorted to by farmers and the general public of Neduvasal village and those residing in its vicinity for over 100 days in 2017 against exploration of hydrocarbons had already thwarted the earlier project.

With the State government having already declared the entire delta region and parts of Pudukottai district as Protected Special Agricultural Zone, any move to carry out exploration of hydrocarbons now would be stoutly opposed. The Centre, he said, should heed the demand of the State government.

The move would eventually affect the livelihood of the farming community and foodgrain production. It would also have an impact on groundwater table and cause pollution, Mr. Selvaraj said.

The demonstration by the Sangam comes a couple of days after a section of villagers of Karukakurichi Vadatheru expressed their opposition by climbing on an exploratory well established by the ONGC.

The protests follow an announcement by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas inviting companies for exploration of hydrocarbons at various locations across the country, including at Karukakurichi Vadatheru, through international competitive bidding.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 2:02:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/move-to-explore-hydrocarbon-at-karukakurichi-vadatheru-opposed/article34823562.ece

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