Neduvasal hydrocarbon project: Residents to resume protest from April 12

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The residents of Neduvasal and its surrounding villages in Pudukkottai district have unanimously adopted a resolution to go on another round of protests from April 12 if the Centre failed to scrap the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal block.

To discuss the proposed hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal, a consultative meeting was held at Sri Nadiyamman Thidal in the village on Sunday evening. The meeting was chaired by T Pushparaj, former MLA in the presence of CV Meiyyanthan, MLA of Alangudi assembly segment, C Swaminathan, former MLA,  T Sengodan, district secretary of CPI, Pudukkottai unit.

During the meeting, three resolutions were unanimously adopted after receiving opinions from the villagers. The first resolution is that the Neduvasal villagers staged two phases of protest against the proposed hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal block last year. Following which, the State government assured the villagers that the government will not give any permission to execute the project. In this situation, the Union petroleum minister had stated in Parliament on February 5 this year that the hydrocarbon project would be executed at Neduvasal after getting proper nod from the State government.

It has been made clear that the Union government is not going to withdraw the project. Hence, the State government should take steps to scrap the project and put pressure on the Centre on this issue for the welfare of around two lakh farmers in the region.

The second resolution pertains to the district collector S Ganesh having assured the protestors of Neduvasal, Vadakadu, Kottaikkadu and Vanakkankadu, during the protest held last year that all ONGC wells would be closed and the leased farmlands handed over to respective farmers by December 2017.
The assurances were not met till date. Hence, the State government should take appropriate steps to close the ONGC wells and cancel the lease agreement between farmers and ONGC and the lands should be handed over to the owner farmers at the earliest.

The Union government should scrap the proposed hydrocarbon project and protect the agricultural production of the state. The villagers would resume their protest from April 12 if the Centre failed to scrap the project by that date.

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