Thoothukudi: The Ramanathapuram-Thoothukudi pipeline project to ensure supply of natural gas for industrial usage in Thoothukudi faced stiff opposition from the farmers, who wanted the pipeline to belaid in alternate route without affecting their farm fields.
The Ramanathapuram-Thoothukudi gas pipeline project, being implemented as part of the Ennore-Thiruvallur-Bengaluru-Puducherry-Nagapatinam-Madurai-Thoothukudi (ETBPNMTPL) by the Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC), aims to ensure natural gas supply for industrial purpose that included fertilizer production and power generation. The pipes of size 18 inches, capable of transporting one million metric standard cubic metre of gas per day (MMSCMD) are being laid for 142-km from the ONGC gas collection centre at Ramnad.
This project is being implemented through fertile agricultural lands of villages like Saminatham, South Veerapandipuram, Kulayankarisal in Thoothukudi district and has earned the wrath of the farmers, who fear that the gas pipeline project would deprive of their livelihood.
Moreover, the 142 KM long Ramanathapuram-Thoothukudi pipeline project too is said to be adverse to the ecology as it crosses a number of canals, streams and forest areas," complained the Kulayankarisal people, who thronged the Thoothukudi district collector's office on Monday demanding to either implement the project in an alternative path or to give it up. "Lest we will resort to other intensive means of protests," warned the farmers from Kulayankarisal.
Sources in the ONGC gas pipeline project, however, said that the pipeline project would not affect either the local community or farming as the
pipeline has been laid at a depth of 2.5-m from the normal ground level. Farmers need not worry, they added.