Residents of Neduvasal a village in Pudukottai district in southern Tamil Nadu have been protesting since mid-February against the ONGC awarding contracts for the execution of oil and gas extraction process. The pace of the protests against ONGC has not slowed down even a bit, with the protest hitting 100 days on 21st July. Meanwhile protests had also begun in Kathiramangalam near Kumbakonam, where it is on its 61st day.
The area is rich in groundwater and the fertile soil of the delta supports a healthy multi-crop farm economy. People are concerned with increasing air and water pollution, groundwater depletion and increased incidence of respiratory diseases, farmland contamination and lapses in restoring damaged lands. Farmers who have filed for compensation are still waiting.
During the first phase, protesters from Neduvasal in Pudukottai district staged a 22-day long agitation against the proposed oil and gas extraction which commenced on 15th February 2017. Following the assurance given by Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, the villagers called off their stir. However, they again resumed the protest on 12th April after they received information that the hydrocarbon project would be executed by a private party in Neduvasal.
President of All Farmers Associations' Coordination Committee, several other prominent activists and a large number of students from various colleges participated with the protestors to mark the 100th day of protests in Neduvasal.
Meanwhile hundreds of people, including women gathered in front of the Ayyanar temple in Kathiramangalam village and staged a sit-in protest demanding ONGC should be vacated from their village immediately. Residents of the village have been carrying out different types of protest including holding rallies, cooking protests and demonstrations.