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Tamil Nadu rejects ONGC’s application for digging in Ariyalur and Cuddalore

Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority had rejected the applications of ONGC since they lacked details about the projects’ socio-economic and environmental impact

Reiterating that the State government would not give permission to coal bed methane and shale gas projects that would cause problems for the environment and farmers, TN Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu on Tuesday said applications of the ONGC for digging 10 wells in in Ariyalur district and 5 wells in Cuddalore district were rejected on June 21.

Responding to Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) member M.H. Jawahiruallah, who raised the issue of the hydrocarbon projects in the Assembly, Mr. Thennarasu said the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) had rejected the applications of ONGC since they lacked details about the projects’ socio-economic and environmental impact.

He said the government would not grant permission for new oil and gas projects in Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts that had been covered under the Tamil Nadu Protected Agriculture Zone Development Act, 2020 and Kattumannarkoil, Melbhuvanagiri, Keerapalayam, Parankipet and Kumaratchi taluks in Cuddalore district and Aranthangi, Avudaiyarkoil, Manmelkudi, Tiruvarankulam and Karampakudi in Pudukottai district.

“The government will set up an expert committee to assess the damage caused by oil, natural gas and hydrocarbon projects in places in other districts. The committee will study the impact on groundwater, soil and environment. It will also elicit the views of the public on the impact on their livelihood and food security,” he said.

Cement prices down

Earlier, Mr Thennarasu said the price of cement had come down to ₹460 per bag after he held talks with cement manufactures, and they had agreed to bring it down further since the Chief Minister was particular that the price of construction materials should not affect the common man.

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