Pudukkottai: With a huge sense of relief and taking satisfaction in their collective resistance, villagers in and around Neduvasal near Pudukkottai burst firecrackers in celebration at Neduvasal on Thursday, after a private company awarded the contract for extraction of hydrocarbons there decided not to go ahead with it.
The firm has also written to the Union petroleum ministry about its decision.
Official sources said the corporate concern expressed its unwillingness to proceed further as the Tamil Nadu government did not give its nod so far, resulting in heavy loss for them. They also asked the petroleum ministry to allot an alternative site for exploring oil prospects.
Mr. K. Dakshinamoorthy member of the high-level struggle committee constituted for protesting against the extraction of hydrocarbons in their village, told DC that the firm's decision to give up the contract is ‘good news’ for the villagers and great mental relief. This was the first victory for the villagers’ struggle and he urged the Centre not to allocate any other place for any company in the Cauvery delta areas of Tamil Nadu.
It might be recalled that the petroleum ministry had allocated the contract to prospect hydrocarbons at Neduvasal on February 15 last year, and the villagers agitated against it for 22 days running in the initial stage.
The villagers also continued their second stage agitation for 174 days, and gave up their strike temporarily, following written assurance given by the Pudukkottai district administration.
Even after this, there was no sign for giving up the hydrocarbon project and the villagers were getting ready for the third r stage of agitation and commenced their struggle from February 18 this year.
Meanwhile, Vadakadu and Neduvasal police had registered a case against agitators and issued summons to them for appearing at a lower court at Alangudi.
To condemn this move, the high-level struggle committee will meet at Vadakadu on Friday....