News: Tamil Nadu government has announced to make the Cauvery Delta region a Protected Special Agriculture Zone (PSAZ)
- Location: It lies in the eastern part of Tamil Nadu. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Palk straight on the south
- It has a total geographic land area of 14.47 lakh ha.
- Rice is the principal crop in the area.
Protected Special Agriculture Zone:
- It will include Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam districts and delta regions of Trichy, Ariyalur, Cuddalore and Pudukkottai
- It cannot be used for any non-agricultural activities.
- It recognises farmer concerns about hydrocarbon exploration and accords primacy to food security.
Background: In 2019, Centre had awarded oil and gas exploration contracts in the Cauvery basin. Tamil Nadu has witnessed protests over the projects amid the ongoing water crisis in the state
- The Cauvery River originates in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, flows into Tamil Nadu, and reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar.
- Parts of three Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka – and the Union Territory of Pondicherry lie in the Cauvery basin.