An RTI obtained from the central pollution control board reveals a lot of hydrocarbon projects are kept pending without clearance from the Tamil Nadu government
Tamil Nadu’s Principal Secretary to Industries department confirms that all hydrocarbon projects that are pending approval should be considered as new projects. It is his reply about a report from the RTI on the pending hydrocarbon projects by the Tamil Nadu government. Hence if they are considered as new projects, as per the PSAZ announcement in places where they were supposed to start, they may not be implemented.
N. Murugnandam IAS is the principal secretary to the Tamil Nadu government’s industries department. He recently replied to questions about the pending hydrocarbon projects as per an RTI report. He said all the awaiting hydrocarbon projects coming under the PSAZ would only be considered as new projects.
Hence as per the new PSAZ resolution, these new projects cannot be started. He also said that a review committee was formed six months ago, and it is continuously analyzing the damages that the hydrocarbon projects.
An RTI obtained from the central pollution control board reveals a lot of hydrocarbon projects are kept pending without clearance from the Tamil Nadu government including
- The 731-acre land and sea area bid by the Vedanta group with ONGC in 2018 under the open acreage licensing policy of 35 and 5 wells in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam.
- The 1794 sq km of land and sea area in Villupuram and Pondicherry of 116 wells for the PEL or petroleum exploration license
- The 2574 sq.m land and sea area in Nagapattinam and Karaikal for 158 wells for PEL
- 140 sq.km block under new exploration licensing policy in Nagapattinam pending for PEL
- 140 sq. km land in Ariyalur under PML or petroleum mining lease permission
- The discovered small field obtained in Karaikal and Neduvasal by BPCL and Gem laboratory respectively which is pending for PML
The Tamil Nadu government did not give these permissions even after last year’s request from the secretary of the central government to examine and provide the permission. The RTI report confirms that for the past two years, all these PEL and PML permissions are not given by the state government. But the environment activists request not only stopping the permission to these projects but also sending them back to the central government.