Stalin urges EC, Centre to halt EIA for hydrocarbon projects in TN

Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin yesterday slammed reports of central government issuing ToR to Vedanta Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to carry out environmental impact assessment for hydrocarbon exploration projects in Villupuram.

The leader of opposition party urged the Election Commission and Centre to take steps to halt the projects as it was announced when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.

Stalin further pointed out that in 2018, farmers from the state had strongly opposed and protested when the Centre signed agreements with Vedanta Ltd and ONGC to set up 274 and 67 wells, respectively, and that they were being allowed despite representations by farmers.

He further slammed the ruling AIADMK for not opposing the projects. He claimed, when Model Code of Conduct was in effect, according Terms of Reference was against the election rules.

Also the projects would be detrimental to agricultural activities when water scarcity was prevalent in Cauvery-Delta regions in the State.

Meanwhile, PMK Leader S Ramadoss criticised the move and said it was against the stand taken by the Centre, as it had earlier said it would not implement such projects.

Centre and State governments have the responsibility to ensure that agricultural zones in the state continue to remain the same, he said and sought the central and state governments to guarantee that such projects would not be implemented in any parts of the state at any cost.

NT Bureau