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No exploration license given in Cauvery delta: Centre, TN govt inform Madras HC

The submission was made before the first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy recently when a petition in this regard came up for hearing.

Screenshot 2024 02 12 030605CHENNAI: The central and the state governments have informed the Madras High Court that no exploration licence has been given for extraction of hydrocarbon in the Cauvery delta region.

The submission was made before the first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy recently when a petition in this regard came up for hearing. “So far 6 E&P blocks have been awarded in Tamil Nadu and exploration activities have not yet commenced in the area. To commence the exploration activities it is mandatory to obtain petroleum exploration licence from the TN government. Since the government has not granted licence so far, no exploration activity is being carried out in the area,” the Union Govt authorities told the court in a memo.

It added Tamil Nadu government has enacted the TN Protected Agricultural Zone Development Act, 2020 which prohibits exploration, drilling and extraction of oil and natural gas in the protected zone.

State Government Pleader A Edwin Prabhakar said a high-level expert technical committee submitted its report on February 17, 2022 and it is under the consideration of the government.

The bench disposed the petition saying that no order needs to be passed in view of no new licence for exploration of hydrocarbon in the Cauvery Delta and the Cauvery river basin.

The petitioner, A Marx, sought the court to issue an order forebearing the officials of the central and state governments and Vedanta Ltd from implementing the hydrocarbon exploration and production project in any form in the Cauvery Delta and Cauvery Basin area in Tamil Nadu.

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