THANJAVUR: While welcoming the adoption of 'Tamil Nadu protected agricultural zone development bill 2020' by Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami in the Assembly on Thursday, farmers of Cauvery delta districts demanded “clarity” on various issues and incorporate changes and make the bill truly protective of the Cauvery delta.
P. Maniarasan, coordinator of Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu expressed apprehension that the proposed hydrocarbon projects may not be stopped by the bill as it said that it will not affect ongoing and approved projects. Though farmers have been opposing proposed coal-bed methane project (which was stopped by AIADMK government led by former chief minister J.Jayalalithaa) and ONGC activities, their main opposition now is the proposed hydrocarbon projects approved by the Central government.
“Vedanta group and ONGC have been given permission by Central government to extract hydrocarbons in Cauvery delta. If these were not to be stopped by the Bill, there is no point in bringing it and it will not serve the purpose for which it is brought ie protecting the delta as an agriculture zone,” said Maniarasan.
The bill has been drafted in haste and it should have included Musiri, Lalgudi and Pullambadi blocks in Tiruchy district, Kulithalai in Karur district., Thirumanur in Ariya;lur district and Chdiambaram in Cuddalore district, he felt.
“Chief Minister should seek expert opinions and incorporate changes in the Bill before sending it to Governor. The Bill should be sent to a select committee,” he urged.
Meanwhile, farmers of Thanjavur district who attended the monthly grievances day meeting at the collectorate said that ban should be on the ongoing projects too and approved oil and gas projects, particularly proposed hydrocarbon extraction project, lest the exercise will become meaningless. Yet, they welcomed the Bill....