Union Road Transport Minister Pon Radhakrishnan has taken to task those who oppose the hydro-carbon project at Neduvasal in Pudukkottai District wondering whether people opposing the project were scientists.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had cleared the project on 14th February, awarding contract to public sector ONGC to extract natural gas from Neduvasal, triggering huge protests from the locals in particular and the people of the State in general. Locals, who fear extraction of oil would cause people to suffer from incurable disease in future, have joined hands in opposing hydro-carbon project.
ONGC has termed Neduvasal as ‘hydrocarbon rich’. Protesters sat on day-long fast yesterday and have been receiving support from film industry, students, youths and from other sections/parts of the State as well. It now appears that the protests might assume proportions akin to that of the massive Jallikkattu protest across the State.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha M.P. L. Ganesan had sarcastically remarked that people’s welfare projects could only be carried out on earth and not in the sky and appealed to the people to cooperate. Joining the issue, Pon Radhakrishnan said that people were opposing the project without going into the nuances connected with it. “Are all of them scientists who know enough to oppose the project? If people don’t want, the project would ultimately be called off but it would be a huge loss to them,” he said.
On another note, he blamed the erstwhile AIADMK regime of not doing enough to save flood-waters of 2015 which could have come in handy to face the expected water crisis this summer.