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State News

Feb 20, 2020
9:29PM

Tamil Nadu Assembly passes bill to declare Cauvery Delta Region a Protected Special Agriculture Zone

FILE PIC
The Tamil Nadu Assembly has passed a bill declaring the Cauvery Delta Region a Protected Special Agriculture Zone. The bill, moved by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy, provides for banning certain new industries in the region.

They include hydrocarbon exploration, smeltering of copper, zinc and aluminium, iron ore processing, tanneries and ship breaking. However, the bill also says any ongoing projects would not be disturbed.

Infrastructure development projects like port development, laying of pipelines, road, telecommunication lines, power and water supply facilities will not be banned, as made clear in the bill.

The whole districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam and five blocks each of Cuddalore and Pudukkottai districts are brought under the ambit of the bill. However, the more industrialized districts of Trichy, Ariyalur and Karur have been excluded, though they are part of the Delta region geographically.

The bill seeks to establish a 30-member Protected Agricultural Zone Authority headed by the Chief Minister to advise the Government on protecting and improving agricultural activities in the region.

The DMK objected to excluding the ongoing projects from the scope of the bill. Its leader M K Stalin asked to send it to the House Select Committee before passing it. However, the demand was turned down by the Speaker. The DMK members staged a walk out.
The bill was passed after agitations for long by farmers against granting permission for new hydrocarbon projects in the Delta region.

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