Sunday, March 11 2007
New Indian Express
CUDDALORE: As many as 100 farmers observed a one-day fast here on Saturday protesting against a move to set up a private thermal power station in Nochikadu village.
The farmers harboured the fear that the livelihood of people residing in more than 20 hamlets around the proposed site would be threatened if the power plant came up.
Addressing the meeting, president of Nochikadu Village Farmers Protection and Welfare Association R Narayanasamy said, several thousand farmers and agricultural workers would be deprived of their livelihood if the power plant was set up in the region.
He pointed out that a large portion of the Thiyagavalli Village Panchayat has been covered with fertile land. The region is a major green belt in the Cuddalore taluk and farmers have been engaged in raising paddy, cashew and casuarina crops there, from which the government is making a lot of revenue.
He said that a private firm Cuddalore Power Company has been purchasing arable land for setting up the plant in the region.
According to him, if the unit becomes a reality then it would affect the cultivation in the 20 hamlets, including – Nochikadu, Naduthittu, Thiyagavalli, Thiruchopuram, Chithiraipettai, Rasapettai, Periyakuppam, Chothikuppam and Thamanampettai. Besides destroying the green belt, the plant would cause severe harm to environment as well.
As per a legislation enacted in 1987, the people residing here have no rights to sell their lands to anyone. However, under the Act, the Cuddalore Power Company only had the sole right of purchasing the land from the local residents, he added.
He urged Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to withdraw the sanction accorded to the firm.