N Pottiyappan, one of the Neduvasal protesters said, “When we called off our protest, we were assured by the district administration, state government, and even by the Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan that the hydrocarbon project would not be implemented in Pudukkottai district and stressed that any project opposed by the people will be dropped. But, now with the Petroleum Ministry signing contracts for hydrocarbon project, we have decided to mobilise the representatives of 70 villages around Neduvasal to prevent oil extraction from the ground,” he said.
Even the district Collector S Ganesh handed over a written consent to the villagers assuring that the district administration would not entertain the hydrocarbon project. “We have no one to cry out over this situation. So, we have planned to resume the protests again. This project will turn our fertile lands barren. We will not allow that to happen,” he added.
Villagers started mobilising support from adjacent villages in and around Vadakadu, Pattukkottai, Karambakkudi, and Aranthangi soon after the news of the signing of contract with GEM Laboratories by the Petroleum Ministry reached here.
All these above villages were considered as the entry points to reach Neduvasal. They warned that the upcoming protests would be vigorous this time.