Protest against hydrocarbon project in Pudukottai village

By NT Bureau Published on Feb 27, 2017 04:21 PM IST

Chennai: Neduvasal, a remote village near Pudukottai, has all of a sudden come into the limelight because of the on-going protest asking the Central government to give up the hydrocarbon project planned to be taken up there.

Villagers and youngsters started protesting against the project which has rapidly spread across the State gaining momentum as the number of protestors started increasing by the day.

The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 15 February. The committee gave its approval to award the contract in 31 areas. Neduvasal is one among the 28 on land areas selected for the project.

While many groups are protesting against the project, there are a few others who voice their opinion against the protesters and suggest that a legal solution should be found.

'News Today' tries to bring an insight into the actual problem on hand.

WHERE IS NEDUVASAL?

Neduvasal is a village with 45 sq km area and is located in the Pudukottai district with a population of close to 5,000.The primary occupation of the village is agriculture.

WHY WAS THE HYDROCARBON PROJECT CHOSEN THERE?

The Petroleum Ministry has dis- covered a hydrocarbon field in this village spanning 10 sq km and was recommended for award to a private company.

WHAT IS FRACKING?

When the project was approved, it was reportedly said the Union government had said fracking method will be used in the project. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurised liquid, mostly water. These cracks enable the escape of the hydrocarbons from the underground which can be tapped for use. Ill-effects of fracking, according

to the protesters

While many advocate that fracking is cost-effective in tapping hydrocarbons, those opposed put forth many reasons involving various potential environmental issues, including risk of ground and surface water contamination and depletion.

The risk of triggering earthquakes and hazard to public health are also other reasons, according to the protesters.

WHAT IS HYDROCARBONS?

Hydrocarbons are compounds which contain hydrogen and carbon. They have high calorific value and can be used as fuel. Hydrocarbons have a variety of uses. India doesn’t have many hydrocarbon reserves. So, we buy them from other countries.

SUPPORT FOR THE PROJECT?

Supporters say that it is not right to oppose every project that is announced by the Central government as if it was against the State. Everything should be handled legally. If there is something wrong with the project, then it should be taken to the court and the proof of their accusa-tions should be submitted, they say.

Protesting against everything will definitely stall the progress of the State, the supporters have stated.

MEME CREATORS TO BE BLAMED?

This protest is instigated by a few Facebook pages and the real reason for that should be identified. While they do a few good jobs, most of them are carried away by emotion with no logical reasoning behind it, say the supporters.

TRADERS TO JOIN PROTEST?

Traders have announced a bandh on 1 March in support of farmers opposing the hydrocarbon project. They agreed that

the proposed hydrocarbon extraction project would devastate the livelihood of people across the delta region.