Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan urged protesters to come for talks.

Neduvasal protesters refuse to back down until Centre scraps hydrocarbon project
news Neduvasal protests Monday, March 06, 2017 - 14:24

The protests at Neduvasal in Pudukottai against the hydrocarbon project show no sign of letting down. Demonstrators say they will continue their agitation until the Centre announces the scrapping of the project.

On Monday, more than 500 protesters gathered at Neduvasal, even as farmers, youth, and several residents agitated in nearby villages of Vadakadu, Keeramangalam and Nallandarkollai.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan urged protesters to come for talks. Speaking to reporters, he said, “The BJP and the centre are for the farmers. We won’t do anything that affects the farmers. Leave the protests and come for talks.”

The Union Minister had facilitated talks on Saturday between ‘Save Neduvasal’ representatives and officials from ONGC. But talks failed with protesters refusing to withdraw their agitation.

While Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had on March 1 assured farmers that the state government would not grant permission for the project, protesters refused to give up their agitation.

Protests have been raging in Neduvasal for several days now with farmers fearing that the hydrocarbon project would have an adverse impact on agriculture, besides depleting and contaminating groundwater in the area.

On February 15, the Centre gave its approval for awarding the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal to GEM Laboratories Private Limited. The project is part of the Centre’s Discovered Small Fields policy, which aims to reduce India’s dependence on oil imports by boosting domestic production.

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