Madurai: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court granted a stay on the notification issued for acquiring agricultural lands for laying of gas pipelines in Tuticorin district.
The petitioner K Chellam, a resident of South Veerapandiapuram village in Tuticorin district, stated that already several acres of agricultural lands had been acquired for government projects. He stated that currently a notification has been issued by the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas for the purpose of acquiring the ‘Right of User’ of agricultural lands.
Chellam said the project to be executed by IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) was proposed to lay underground pipelines from the ONGC field in Ramanathapuram district to Tuticorin, for the purpose of delivering natural gas to industries such as SPIC and Sterlite at a cost of Rs 700 crore.
He submitted that as admitted by IOCL, the proposed pipeline would cross several rivers, canals, forest areas and eco-sensitive zones including bird sanctuaries and Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. He stated that if this project was allowed, then the agricultural lands and the forest areas in the district would be affected.
Hence, the petitioner prayed for a direction seeking to restrain laying of gas pipelines through the agricultural lands.
When the petition was heard on Wednesday, a division bench of justice J Nisha Banu and justice M Dhandapani granted stay and adjourned the case to a further date for hearing.
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