TN govt says no to hydrocarbon project

Amid a heated debate in the Assembly today, Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam said the State government has not granted permission for any hydrocarbon project in Tamil Nadu.

“The Amma (Jayalalithaa) government had not given permission for the projects. Neither will we give permission,” he told the state Assembly.

The Centre had recently awarded oil and gas exploration contracts in the Cauvery basin. Shanmugam was responding to a special attention calling motion brought by the main opposition DMK.

Shanmugam further said it was the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam who gave the green signal for the project during its tenure.

“Not just hydrocarbon, the State government will not permit any project that is against nature. Even if the Central government approves such schemes, the State government’s permission is needed,” he said. Leader of Opposition in the House, M K Stalin said though the State government is saying that it has not given permission for the project, the Central government is somehow trying to implement it here.

On Monday, DMK member in Lok Sabha TR Baalu had raised the issue of hydrocarbon extraction in areas of the Cauvery basin, saying the farmers were against it and the exercise was not economically remunerative. He was supported by other members of the party.

Responding to the issue, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that it was not a new matter and agreed that the farmers had concerns and apprehensions.