Ryots drop strike plan after ONGC told to close well

Ryots drop strike plan after ONGC told to close well

This prompted the committee to announce hunger strike at Mannargudi on Independence Day demanding to stop the procedure.

TIRUCHY: The farmers withdrew their threat to go on hunger strike on the Independence Day against the exploration activities by ONGC after the Tiruvarur district administration asked the PSU to close down the exploration well permanently. The decision was taken after a peace talk on Saturday.

To recall, the HydroCarbon exploration well established by the ONGC was closed at Periyakudi in 2013 after a lengthy protest by the Coordination Committee of All Farmers Association, but recently the firm once again initiated steps to resume the activities reportedly without any proper permission.

This prompted the committee to announce hunger strike at Mannargudi on Independence Day demanding to stop the procedure. The farmers committee also met the leaders of all political parties and appealed for their support.

On Saturday, as per the direction of the state government, the Tiruvarur District Collector B Gayathri Krishnan convened a peace talk with the farmers in which leaders from various association including the president of the Committee PR Pandian participated and the officials from the ONGC, Tiruvarur SP Suresh Kumar, DRO Chidambaram, RDO (Mannargudi) Keerthana Mani and others also took part.

The farmers demanded to shut down all the exploration wells at Periyakudi and those wells established after the State government declared the Delta region as the Protected Agricultural Zone in 2015 and remove all the pipelines laid after the announcement. The farmers also demanded to stop the exploration of HydroCarbon and methane in the region. Meanwhile, the representatives from the ONGC stated that a detailed discussion with the higher officials should be made regarding the demand only then, they could arrive at a decision.

However, the Collector Gayathri Krishnan pointed out that there is no permission for the exploration activities after the state government declared the region as the Protected Agricultural zone and so she asked the ONGC to close down the well at Periyakudi.

She also asked the ONGC officials to obtain proper permission from the state government for any activities in the region.

As the Collector instructed the ONGC to close down the well, the farmers withdrew their hunger strike.

While speaking to reporters after the meeting, Pandian said, the district collector ordered the ONGC to initiate steps to remove the well during the peace talk, the farmers agreed to it and withdrew the plan for hunger strike.

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