Political parties have strongly opposed the ongoing works of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) in the stretch between Madhanam and Memathur, for laying gas pipelines through the agricultural lands where transplanted crops are growing, despite stiff opposition from the farmers. Leaders of these parties urged the Central and State governments to stop forthwith the pipelaying works as it would destroy the livelihood resources of farmers.
Condemning the act of GAIL, PMK founder S Ramadoss said the current project between Madhanam and Memathur, would cause irreparable loss to agriculture and as such, the PSU should give this up immediately. He said around 30,000 acres of farmlands in the stretch between these two places in Sirkazhi taluk of Nagapattinam district, would be severely affected by this project.
“The Central government is desperately trying to destroy the livelihood resources of farmers in Cauvery delta areas. Already, the Centre is implementing six hydrocarbon projects, petrochemical zones by Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts by acquiring 57,345 acres of farmlands, the extension of Narimanam oil refinery project in 600 acres of area, etc., and now trying to destroy the rest of the lands through the GAIL project, Ramadoss charged.
Strongly condemning the act of GAIL, MDMK general secretary Vaiko recalled when farmers objected to the Kochi-Bengaluru gas pipeline project of GAIL and barred it. However, the farmers in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode and Dharmapuri districts are fighting against this project even now.
“The Tamil Nadu government should ban the hydrocarbon project and methane extraction project in delta areas as protests are getting intensified,” he added. AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran condemned the laying of gas pipelines and said the State government had betrayed the farmers.
Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam general secretary P Shanmugam said Tamil Nadu government should stop the gas pipeline laying works immediately and should order the release of those who were arrested for protesting against the ongoing works. The government should provide compensation, he said.