With pressure mounting from farmers on Tamil Nadu government against the proposed hydrocarbon exploration in the Cauvery delta region, the state government has announced that the delta region would be pronounced a Protected Special Agriculture Zone.ca
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami made the announcement, stating that it was a step to ensure food security of the State. While speaking at a function at Thalaivasal in his home district of Salem, Palaniswami said that approval will never be given for projects like hydrocarbon exploration in the delta region.
Once the declaration comes, it would prevent non-agrarian projects in the delta region. For the last two years, the farmers in the Cauvery delta have been protesting against the Centre’s hydrocarbon project, which was to be executed by Vedanta Limited and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited,
In his address, the Chief Minister that he was a farmer and his government would never give permission for projects that could affect farmers and stressed that the Cauvery delta was an important agriculture region. He said that that his government would ensure that agriculture is not affected in the region. The delta regions in Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Nagapattinam. Cuddalore Ariyalur, Tiruchirapalli and Karur would be converted into Protected Special Agriculture Zone
The farmers and others have been demanding a protected zone for the Cauvery delta region for decades. As part of the hydrocarbon project, 116 wells were to be drilled in Puducherry and Villupuram, 158 in Nagapattinam and Karaikkal 40 in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam and 27 in Cuddalore and Tiruvarur.