Taking a strong stance against hydrocarbon exploration, the Tamil Nadu government rejected ONGC's (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd) application to drill and explore oil wells.
The ONGC had applied to receive approval to drill oil wells in 15 places in the state—10 in Ariyalur and five in Cuddalore district, reported The News Minute.
The state government's Environment Impact Assessment Authority (TNSEIAA) while declining the application stated that the clearance failed for lack of details on the proposed project.
According to reports, ONGC's plan to drill wells has been vehemently opposed by environmentalists, farmers, and the DMK government as they are against any kind of hydrocarbon exploration in the Cauvery basin.
Despite Chief Minister MK Stalin writing to PM Narendra Modi asking not to invite bids from companies for hydrocarbon exploration in the Cauvery basin, the ONGC Cauvery basin branch applied for approvals.
Missing Critical Details
"The proponent has not furnished a study report on impacts of surface water bodies and marine ecosystems considering fish movement, flora, fauna, and migratory birds movement. The proponents had also not submitted details of clearances from competent authorities for the forest land use and the land use conversion orders for industrial purposes," said the letter released by the authority.
It further added that the report detailing the land acquired including the break up of private, government, and agricultural land was not furnished. Additionally, documents regarding the registration of land and government orders provided for the acquisition of land were missing.
Furthermore, data from Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) pertaining to the aquifer details at different depths and water profile around core holes were not provided for examination. It also failed to find details of timelines of rehabilitation or compensation to farmers for acquiring land for oil exploration.