CBM project – Cold Blooded Monster project..Oops..sorry…Coal Bed Methane Project.



This write-up is about something that I came across and made me realize once more that a nation’s welfare is in the hands of every individual in it.
                   Let me first jot down what this CBM project is all about.  Methane is a by product of coal that is released during and after the process of mining.  This gas when extracted effectively can be used for vehicle refueling, electric power generation and in various industries such as fertilizers and in steel production.  There is a demo project currently being implemented in Sudamdih and Moonidih mines of BCCL, at Jharia coal field, Jarkhand.  Cool…isn’t it?!
                   One more great news…A company called Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd., based in Gurgaon, Haryana had got license to implement this project in Tamilnadu.  But where?? That is the tragic part..
                    License was provided to this company for extracting CBM through hydraulic fracturing method in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Thiruvarur, the regions constituting Kaveri River basin. 
An area of about 691Km2 was provided for this process.  In order to extract methane one has to drain out all the ground water present above the coal bed and coal is found at a depth of 6000ft underground in these regions.  This water contains a high concentration of minerals and other salts that cannot be used for agricultural purposes.  In turn it also spoils the soil in which our daily bread is being cultivated since times unknown.  This drilling causes great hydrogeological disturbances making ground water unavailable for agriculture and debilitating huge amount of agricultural land transforming Tamilnadu into Thar desert within few decades.  There is also high risk of explosion during the extraction process causing loss of life and property.
                             Though there are just 2000 wells to be drilled in 691km2  of agricultural land, the entire surrounding locality of about 21 lakh acres (8270 km2) will have to withstand its impact.  Taking all these losses into account the plan of producing 450MW of electricity for 25 years is highly insignificant.  Well..this doesn’t sound cool now..right??
                   Environmentalists, social activists and farmers together brought this into light of the rest of Tamilnadu and the Government, organizing protests against the project.  The untiring efforts of the common men yielded fruit when CV Shankar, additional Chief Sectretay of the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board passed a GO recommending the Union Government to drop this proposal. 
                   I am glad to find that we Indians are still not influenced by the NIMBY syndrome.  This proves that small steps taken by an individual for the welfare of his country and the land that he lives in will always be rewarded the right way.  This article is dedicated to every single individual who are actually making an effort to stop this CBM in Tamilnadu, thereby saving the life and daily living of lakhs of citizens.

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