Why in news?

  • Cauvery delta region has been announced by Tamil Nadu as protected special agricultural zone, which includes 8 districts of the state. 
  • The delta, which produces 33 lakh tonnes of grains in 28 lakh acres, has seen multiple protests for a decade over methane, hydrocarbon, oil and natural gas projects, which required acquisition of fertile lands and well drilling — proposals which triggered fears of groundwater contamination

Provisions of protected agricultural zone

  • When a land is announced as Protected Agricultural Zone, it cannot be used for any other non-agricultural activities.
  • The Environmental Impact Assessment of 2006 that was recently amended by the central government gives permission for ONGC and other private firms.
  • And since Cauvery Delta is rich in Hydrocarbons, it is essential to protect the agricultural land in the region
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