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Methane extraction project will harm us: Vaiko

Posted January 2nd, 2015, 10:31 AM IST

Methane extraction project will harm us: Vaiko

Chennai: Accusing the BJP-led Central government of encouraging efforts inimical to TN’s interests, MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Thursday appealed to the State government to not allow the controversial methane extraction project in the Cauvery delta. If the government allowed this, the farmers in the Cauvery delta would face severe shortage of water for irrigation and drinking purposes, which would adversely affect their livelihood, Mr Vaiko told reporters here at his party headquarters, ‘Thayagam’.

Pointing out that methane gas extraction had been banned in New York, he said that the government ought to reject the project. “I appeal to the State government not to proceed with the project,” he said. The methane project was initiated during the previous DMK regime in 2011, with the government signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Great Eastern Energy Corporation for exploration and production of coal bed methane in the Cauvery delta districts.

However, the proposal was put on hold following stiff opposition from farmers and political parties. Now, a fresh round of protest has begun in the delta districts after Union Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the budget that the Centre would accelerate the methane project.The MDMK chief termed the methane project and proposals by Karnataka and Kerala to build new dams as very dangerous to the interests of Tamil Nadu, especially the region covering the Cauvery delta. “A danger bigger than such projects is not going to come for Tamil Nadu. Such efforts are being encouraged by the NDA regime at the Centre,” charged Vaiko, who had recently quit the ruling alliance.

Vaiko said he would convene a meeting on January 20 at Thanjavur to deliberate over such threats to the state. “I have formed a forum, the Cauvery Rights Protection Movement, I will be the coordinator. I will invite political parties and farmers to participate in the meet and share their views,” he said.