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TN government constitutes seven-member committee to study exploration of hydrocarbon projects

Chennai, August 18 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a seven-member committee to study the exploration of hydrocarbon projects . The committee will be headed by Sultan Ahmad Ismael, part-time member, State Development Policy Council.

A statement from the department of environment said that the committee constituted on Tuesday will have freedom to conduct the study in areas other than the protected agricultural zone as the terms of reference have been revised.

The study will be conducted in areas other than the Cauvery delta region and will assess the impact of drilling technologies like hydrofracturing on groundwater and environment.

The committee will also study whether drilling would have an impact on the land as also as to whether it destabilize the tectonic plates below the area of exploration. The impact of the project on the livelihood of the people of the area will also be a subject of study.

The study will also access the quantity of groundwater required to be drawn out for the exploration of coal bed methane, petroleum, and natural gas, shale gas, and whether large-scale drawing of groundwater would lead to its depletion.

An assessment on the impact of chemicals on the quantity of surface water, groundwater, flowing water, fertility of the land, irrigation sources, cultivation of crops, flora and fauna,  air quality, and seawater intrusion will be conducted by the seven-member committee.

The other members of the committee are Indumathi .M. Nambi, Professor, IIT Madras, M. Maheswari, Professor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, V . Selvam, former senior director, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation(MSSRF), S. Ramamoorthy, Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, S. Raja, Executive Engineer, Groundwater Resources, PWD and R. Karthikeyan, GM , Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO).

The committee is directed to submit its report within a time frame of four months.