Tamil Nadu

T.N. cancels notification on petrochem investment region

Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Edappadi K. Palaniswami   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Decision to scrap project follows delta getting special status

The Tamil Nadu government has cancelled its notification on constituting a Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), encompassing 45 villages in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts. This follows the Assembly adopting a Bill declaring the Cauvery delta a protected agricultural zone. On Friday, Governor Banwarilal Purohit gave his assent to the Bill.

By its latest action, the government has withdrawn its move to turn 45 villages in the two districts into a local planning area for the PCPIR, according to an official in the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department, which issued an order to this effect on Friday. Through two orders issued by the HUD Department in December 2015 and June 2017, the villages were delineated for the PCPIR. Spread over 256.83 sq. km, the proposed project had envisaged an investment of ₹8,100 crore and the generation of 13,950 jobs.

The latest order was, in turn, based on a communication from the office of Director of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), sent to the government on February 10, that “a lot of objections” had been received from the public, “vehemently opposing” the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons. As the delta region was regarded as the rice bowl of the State and was an “ecologically sensitive agricultural zone,” any further exploration and exploitation, “apart from such activity which already exist[s]”, might be “detrimental” to the environment of the zone, it said. The DTCP’s office requested the government to recall the earlier orders.

The day before the DTCP’s office sent its recommendation to the government, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced (on February 9) his government’s decision, at a function in Thalaivasal, that the delta would be made a protected zone.

An official of the Industries Department clarified that the withdrawal of the PCPIR notification would have no bearing on another project proposed by Haldia Petrochemicals to the tune of ₹50,000 crore in Cuddalore district, as the proposed project would be located outside the PCPIR. During the Chief Mnister’s visit to the U.S. in September last year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the State government and the company, whose representatives met Mr. Palaniswami a few weeks ago in Chennai.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:25:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-cancels-notification-on-petrochem-investment-region/article30892028.ece

Next Story