The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has sought environmental clearance for drilling exploratory wells in Tamil Nadu.
The proposal for drilling exploratory wells were sought at 15 places including 10 in Ariyalur district and five in Cuddalore district.
As per reports, ONGC’s Cauvery Basin, Chennai, has submitted two proposals along with other documents to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) of the Tamil Nadu Department of Environment for obtaining mandatory environmental clearance.
This clearance was for establishment of exploratory wells at the 15 places in Tamil Nadu.
The ONGC had submitted the proposal for clearance at Ariyalur district on Tuesday, while for Cuddalore, proposal was submitted on Wednesday.
The documents that were submitted for executive summaries of the projects were toposheets, pre-feasibility reports and maps of the proposed exploratory wells along with Form I which is a formal application for environmental clearance.
With this move for environmental clearance by ONGC, strong opposition has evoked from environmental activists and farmers.
According to reports, G. Sundarrajan, of Poovulagin Nanbargal, said it was yet another attempt by ONGC to expand its activities against the interests of farmers, who were waging a battle against the exploration of hydrocarbon and other kinds of activities in the delta and neighbouring districts. The move would be detrimental to nature and farming.
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.K. Stalin recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to cancel the Centre’s invitation for bids to extract hydrocarbon in Pudukottai district.
However, ONGC submitted a proposal on June 15 and another one on June 16 to SEIAA.
Mr. Sundarrajan said, “It shows that ONGC has been pushing ahead with its plans in spite of the State government’s stand on the issue. The State government should summarily reject the proposal to protect the environment and the interest of the farmers,”
President of Cauvery Delta Pasana Vivasaya Sangangalin Kootamaippu,Thanga Dharmaraj, said that it showed the Centre’s adamant attitude in enforcing its agenda against the interest of the farmers and those who are trying to save environment.
He further stated, “The proposed drilling of wells would destroy agriculture in the region. The farmers would never allow the project.”