The Union Territory of Puducherry has stolen a march over neighbouring Tamil Nadu with its Territorial Assembly adopting on Wednesday a resolution declaring the Karaikal region, in the tailend of the Cauvery River, as a protected zone in which no hydrocarbon projects will be permitted.
Congress Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy piloted a resolution after a similar announcement by his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K Palanisamy that his government will enact a special law for the purpose.
Narayanaswamy moved the resolution after the House adopted another resolution opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act which saw the opposition Rengasamy Congress, the BJP and the AIADMK walking out in protest.
Moving the resolution on protected agricultural zone, Narayanaswamy asked the Centre to withdraw a recent amendment to the Environment Impact Assessment to do away with prior consultation with the public and the concerned States.
The Chief Minister said if exploratory oil and gas wells were allowed to come up in Karaikal and Bahoor, it would hit the farmers of the region hard. He recalled that the Territorial Assembly adopted a resolution in July last year, protesting the Centre’s decision to allow the Vedanta group to drill exploratory wells on and offshore in Karaikal and Tamil Nadu.