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Puduchery assembly declares Karaikal a protected farm zone;

Press Trust of India  |  Puducherry 

The Puducherry Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution declaring Karaikal region and Bahoor block as "protected agricultural zones" and opposed any hydrocarbon projects in the areas.

The resolution piloted by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy also urged the Centre to withdraw its recent amendment to the Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification which he said allowed companies to take up exploration work without consultations with the state or union territories concerned.

"If the hydrocarbon project is permitted, the Karaikal region (in the tail-end of Cauvery delta) will become a desert and farmers will be hit seriously," he claimed.

The assembly resolution comes days after neighbouring Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said eight Cauvery delta districts, including the rice bowl Thanjavur, in the state would be categorised as a special protected agricultural zone and assured permission will not be given for hydrocarbon projects.

Narayanasamy charged with Centre with amending the EIA notification 'arbitrarily' as the Union Environment, claiming opinions of the states and Union Territories were not taken before effecting the amendment.

He also recalled that the territorial assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution on July 23 last year registering the Union Territory's protest against the Centre's decision to let drilling operations for hydrocarbon deposits by a private concern in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan, hailing from Karaikal, feared drilling by gigantic equipment would cause an alarming situation like the one seen during tsunami.

"We should be alert to oppose the Centre's move and nip it in the bud," he said.

Geetha Anandan (DMK), representing Karaikal in the assembly, objected to the hydrocarbon project while her party colleague R Siva wanted the government to bring in a legislation declaring the Karaikal and Bahoor blocks as protected agriculture zones as a follow up of the resolution.

Another resolutionwas also adopted unanimously urging the Centre to ensure protection of social justice through reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Backward classes.

Narayanasamy said the recent order of the Supreme Court that quotas and reservation for promotion in government jobs was not a fundamental right "has dealt a rude shock among the SCs, STs and BCs."

He appealed to the Centre to go in for a review petition inthe apex court to procure social justice to the depressed and backward classes.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 21:30 IST