In a dialogue with the local community from Neduvasal village, Tamil Nadu, senior Union ministers on Wednesday assured them that the Government will not carry out any E&P activities without addressing concerns of stakeholders.
Union Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, along with Minister of State (I/C) for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Pon. Radhakrishnan met up with local people from this village and assured them of addressing all concerns and taking onboard the local villagers, State Government and all other relevant stakeholders before proceeding with any E&P activity in that area.
It was decided that dialogue would continue with local people with the involvement of Officials from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas , Directorate General Hydrocarbons, ONGC, State Government and Local Authorities to dispel all apprehensions of the local people of Neduvasal village.
The Ministers heard the concerns of the delegation regarding the possible adverse impact of E&P activities on DSF Neduvasal Block in Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu.
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) March 22, 2017
Detailed deliberations were held on the likely impact of E&P activities on agriculture, ground water, local habitation and environment.
Referring to the concerns about the impact of the project, the Officials from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons & ONGC explained that the extraction of oil and gas from sub-surface is a well-established practice and the drilling and production processes require very limited surface area and would not affect agriculture.
Further, it was informed that E&P activity is carried out only after an independent Environment Impact Assessment.
It was also clarified that the Oil and gas extraction carried out from deep-earth does not affect ground water aquifers, which are located at much shallower levels.
It may be noted here that hydrocarbon extraction is carried out worldwide and has had no direct impact on water resources in the mining area.
Other concerns about adverse environmental impact on nearby areas are misplaced as all such operations require prior pollution control and environmental clearances. Further, public hearings are also an integral part of the process of obtaining the clearances.
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