Chennai, Feb 22 (IANS) Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced that it is scrapping the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) project following opposition from the people and others.
As per original plan about 57,345 acres in 45 villages in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts would constitute the PCPIR.
People and political parties were opposing the project as the two districts come under the Cauvery delta region-the rice bowl the state.
Those who opposed the PCPIR said the petroleum and petrochemical projects would affect agriculture.
Welcoming the government’s decision to scrap the project PMK Founder S. Ramadoss said his party was against the PCPIR as it would turn the region into a desert.
He said the party also demanded declaration of the Cauvery delta region as a protected agricultural zone.
On Thursday, the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a Bill declaring the Cauvery delta region, comprising Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, some portions of Cuddalore and Pudukottai districts, as the Protected Special Agriculture Zone (PSAZ).
The Bill, introduced by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, excluded the Trichy, Ariyyalur and Karur districts — also the part of the Cauvery delta region, and existing industrial projects.
Palaniswami said including the ongoing projects could have triggered legal problems.
As per the new law, zinc/copper/aluminium smelter, iron ore processing plants, tannery, hydrocarbon exploration and other industries would not be permitted in the PSAZ.
The law excludes infrastructure projects, like building of harbour, laying of roads, pipelines, telecommunications, and water and power supply lines.
It also provides for setting up of Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Authority, headed by the Chief Minister. The Authority will have 30 members.