Villagers and activists in Pudukottai held a protest on Sunday against the latest bid by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to award contract to private companies for oil and natural gas exploration at Vadatheru in Pudukottai – a protected special agriculture zone.
On June 10, the union ministry had invited companies to bid for development and monetising 32 contract areas comprising 75 oil and gas fields at 11 sites, 20 shallow water off-shore sites and a site located in deep water off-shore. These are for the development of discovered small oil and gas fields under Discovered Small Field Policy through the directorate general of hydrocarbons (DGH). The bid also allows foreign companies and joint ventures to take up the contract.
Vadatheru, which comes under Cauvery delta off-shore, is one of the sites discovered by the ministry for the award of contract of oil and natural gas exploration. The ministry notified that the exploration will be allowed on a 463.2 sqkm in the site. This announcement sparked strong opposition from activists. Villagers of Neduvasal in Pudukkottai protested against the bid on Sunday.