Chennai, July 3 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Monday said the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) was carrying out only maintenance activities in its wells in Thanjavur district and not doing anything to extract methane.
Speaking in the assembly on the mass protest and the baton-charge by police in Kadiramangalam village in Thanjavur, Palaniswamy said ONGC had been exploring crude oil based on a licence issued to it in June 2001.
He said that on May 18, ONGC brought equipment for the purpose of oil well maintenance. The people thought the equipment was meant to extract methane and agitated against the ONGC.
The ONGC later started maintenance work on June 2.
Palaniswami said on June 30, on receipt of information about oil leak form a pipeline in Kadiramangalam, ONGC officials went there but were blocked by some 150 people.
The Chief Minister said the group also attacked police officials with stones and as a result baton were used to disperse the crowd. Ten persons were taken into custody.
The ONGC officials then disconnected the leaking pipeline and now the situation in Kadiramangalam was peaceful, he said.