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Return our lands: Neduvasal villagers

Residents of Neduvasal village petitioned the Collector on Tuesday to restore back their land given on lease to ONGC two years ago.

Return our lands: Neduvasal villagers
A group of men participating in the protest at Neduvasal


According to the residents, the ONGC officials approached them in 2014 and asked their land on lease for the exploration project. “We signed the agreement without knowing the adverse impact of the exploration of petroleum products and the hydrocarbon extraction. In this situation, we came to know that the Petroleum Ministry has signed MoUs with private firms to explore hydrocarbon in our land. We do not want the programme on our land as we fear that the region may turn barren.” 

They added that the district administration should take steps to get back their land. “We want the administration to cancel the lease based on the assurances of the Collector and Union Minister,” they said. Responding to their plea, Collector S Ganesh assured the residents that the administration would never grant any permission to extract hydrocarbon in the district. “The Chief Minister have also given an assurance in this regard. The administration will initiate steps to get back the land from ONGC. It will be handed back to the owners at the earliest,” he said.

Later, Dhakshnamoorthi, one of the coordinators of Neduvasal protest, told reporters that they have been expecting swift action from the district administration in this regard. “We want them to remove the pipes lowered on the farm land. We will start a mass protest again if the government fails to fulfil our demand,” he stressed. Meanwhile, the Pudukottai farmers staged a walk-out from the monthly farmers’ grievance redressal meet in support of the farmers protesting in Delhi.

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