Demand for white paper on proposed petrochemical cluster project

The Thamizhaga All Farmers Organisations Coordination Committee has demanded a white paper on the proposed formation of a petrochemical cluster in Nagapattinam district.

Addressing the media at Mannargudi on Tuesday, committee president P.R. Pandian recalled the agitations organised by the farmers in the past when the previous AIADMK government attempted to create a petrochemical industrial zone encompassing Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and surrounding districts.

The agitations forced the AIADMK government to cancel the notification on the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical investment region (PCPIR) in February 2020 and declare the delta as a Protected Special Agriculture Zone in March. Subsequently, a notification was issued in August by the then Chief Minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, and rules were framed.

The declaration and notification put an end to the tireless agitations of farmers against the expansion of petrochemical industry activities, he said.

At this juncture, allocation of ₹50 lakh to conduct a detailed report on the possibility of forming a petrochemical cluster in Nagapattinam district and the simultaneous move by the Narimanam Oil Refinery unit to acquire fertile lands in Narimanam and surrounding villages had shocked the farmers.

They had staged a walkout from the agriculture grievance meeting convened by the Nagapattinam district administration recently protesting the move to set up a petrochemical cluster, he pointed out.

The committee called upon the State government to clarify its stand on the issue by releasing a white paper.

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