The MDMK and the PMK on Saturday criticised the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) for beginning the construction of a 29-km-long pipeline, which would run from Madhanam to Memathur, cutting through agricultural land in Nagapattinam district, despite protests against the project by farmers in the delta region.
MDMK chief Vaiko said there were strong protests by farmers when the work began without the consent of landowners. “The ONGC has been involved in deep-well extraction as part of this venture, dubbed the Madhanam project. The oil drilled from here will be shipped out with the help of 20 lorries every day. As chemicals enter the ground, around 30,000 acres of fertile land will be affected,” Mr. Vaiko claimed.
The Tamil Nadu government must take cognisance of the fact that the people will revolt against projects like hydrocarbon and methane extraction, he said, adding, “The State government must immediately ensure the operations are stopped.”
PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the project was being implemented without giving consideration to the sentiments of farmers.
“While it is a fact that ONGC-GAIL projects will destroy agriculture, it is also a great betrayal. Six years ago, the farmers opposed the project when oil wells were being created. Back then, assurances were given that more wells will not be constructed; that the oil will be transported by vehicles; and that pipes will not be laid. These assurances have not been kept,” he said.