The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday introduced a Bill in Assembly declaring the Cauvery Delta region a Protected Special Agricultural Zone (PSAZ).
This comes after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said in Salem on February 9 that his government would not give consent for hydrocarbon projects in the area.
The Bill introduced in the Assembly states that it will not disturb any ongoing industrial clusters and activities in the region. It envisages a plan to establish a 30-member Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Authority headed by the CM “to protect and improve farming activities to increase farm production and farm productivity”.
The Bill has drawn criticism from the Opposition as it excludes three districts from the ambit of the law — Trichy, where the Cauvery river enters Tamil Nadu, and nearby Ariyalur and Karur, which naturally come in the delta region.
PSAZ norms will be applicable to districts such as Thanjavur, the centre of the delta region, also known as the state’s rice bowl, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam – tail end of the river, besides five blocks each in Cuddalore and Pudukottai districts.
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