Tamil Nadu

Neduvasal stir suspended

Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan speaking at Neduvasal on Thursday.

Union Minister Pon. Radhakrishnan speaking at Neduvasal on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: A_MURALITHARAN ; A_MURALITHARAN - A_MURALITHARAN

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Pon. Radhakrishnan promises meeting between farmers and Petroleum Minister

The 22-day-long mass protest against the hydrocarbon exploration and extraction project at Neduvasal was “suspended” on Thursday after Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan and State Health Minister C.Vijaya Baskar made fervent pleas to the agitators to call off the stir. Mr.Radhakrishnan and Mr.Vijaya Baskar visited the village in close succession on Thursday evening and addressed the agitators separately. Reiterating that the Centre would not implement any project that the people did not want, MrRadhakrishnan promised to arrange for a meeting between farmers representatives and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi on March 15 or 16.

“We will seek an appointment and arrange a meeting. You can express your views to the Minister,” he told the agitators. However, he suggested that it would be better if the village representatives attended the talks after withdrawing the agitation.

Minister’s appeal

Mr. Vijaya Baskar followed soon and appealed to the villagers to withdraw the protest as the State government had already assured that it would not give permission for the project.

Following the Ministers’ visits, the struggle committee announced that the stir has been temporarily withdrawn. However, the protest would resume if the Centre did not shelve the project, a representative of the committee told reporters.

The agitation began on February 16 soon after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the award of the contracts for exploration of 31 contract areas of 44 small oil fields, including at Neduvasal.

However, the agitation at Karu Nallandarkollai, a neighbouring village where an exploration well has been sunk by ONGC, continued till late in the evening.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:13:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/neduvasal-stir-suspended/article17437609.ece

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