Villagers attempt to attack Cuddalore Collector
Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, Sep 7: About 1,500 agitated villagers of Tegavalli, near here, today attempted to attack Cuddalore district Collector Rajendra Rathnoo at a meeting convened to elicit public opinion regarding the proposed 1,320 MW hydro-electric power plant in the district.
Police sources said the villagers were totally opposed to land acquisition for setting up the power plant and gave vent to their anger at the meeting, convened by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. They gheraoed the Collector and attempted to attack him, when police officials intervened and rescued him.
The meeting was convened following a directive in this regard from the Union Environment and Forests Ministry. As much as 1,670 acre of land was proposed to be acquired for the power plant, to be set up by the private Cuddalore Power Corporation Limited at an investment of Rs 6,004 crore. Of this, the acquisition process had been completed in 400 acre.
The villagers claimed that the officials concerned had acquired their land under the pretext of raising a herbal garden and they knew nothing about the power plant. They dubbed the acquisition process as a move to displace them from their ancestral lands.
Later, they staged a road blockade on the Cuddalore-Chidambaram East Coast Road, disrupting traffic for an hour.
They warned of intensifying their agitation if the Government went ahead with the acquisition process.