Despite an assurance by chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami that the state government will not approve the Neduvasal hydro carbon project, protests continue in Pudukottai district and elsewhere, seeking a similar assurance from the Centre.
Around 20,000 shops and commercial establishments in Pudukottai remained closed from dawn to dusk in the day in a show of solidarity with the protesters.
The bandh call by the District Chamber of Commerce evoked a positive response and the thoroughfares in Pudukkottai town and bazaars wore a deserted look. Buses plied with a minimum number of passengers.
According to an official release, during a meeting with representatives of farmers and residents of Neduvasal protesting against the project, Chief Minster Palaniswami assured them that the State has not yet given the Petroleum Mining Lease (PML) for commercialisation of the project in the village.
“The Chief Minister assured us that the State government will not give its permission for the hydrocarbon project in Neduvasal,” P Velu, a retired teacher from Neduvasal village and co-coordinator of the Anti-movement for Hydrocarbon Project, said after the meeting.
Students and traders of Pudukottai have also expressed their solidarity with the protesters.
Farmers associations alleged that the proposed project was to divert the people’s attention from the Cauvery water dispute.