EVER since the multinational corporation Vedanta and the State-owned ONGC have been given permission to explore the feasibility of extracting Hydrocarbons in the Cauvery Delta region, local people have been protesting against the land grab, loss of livelihoods, and environmental devastation that this will entail.
If allowed, the project would destroy a total of 3486 sq kms and 11 lakh acres of fertile agricultural land.
To build an effective movement against this disastrous project, various peasant organisations (mostly Left-led) convened a consultative meeting on 18th June 2019 at Thanjavur. At the meeting AIARLA was the only organisation representing the agricultural and rural labourers of the delta region. DMK's peasant wing, represented by a former MP and former MLA of the party, also participated in the meeting. The State GS of AIKM Comrade Chandramohan spoke on the potential devastating impact the project would have on the livelihood as well as environment. The AIARLA State President Comrade Balasundaram also spoke, asking how such a destructive project is compatible with Modi’s claims that his mandate is for “development and support for all’ (Sabka Sath, Saba Vikas) - in fact the project is ‘vikas’ only for Vedanta and its CEO Anil Agarwal. The mandate of the people in TN is clearly 'No Modi', and also No Sterlite, No 8-lane corridor, No Hydrocarbon Project.
Several agitational programmes were announced starting from July 1st onwards. The meeting also decided to support the Human Chain program on June 23, against Hydrocarbon project. Activists and cadres of AIARLA, AIKM also participated in the meeting.
As per the call of the consultative meeting AIARLA, AIKM, CPIML participated in the June 23, 600 km long human chain covering 8 districts.