Farmers seek White Paper on power project; People of 12 hamlets facing threat of displacement

September 23, 2007

Special Correspondent

CUDDALORE: Farmers in Cuddalore district have urged the Tamil Nadu Government to come out with a White Paper on the proposed 1,320-MW private power project to be set up in the coastal area.

The project, being promoted by the Cuddalore Power Company, will come up on 1,200 acres spread across Nochikadu and Thiagavalli panchayats. People of 12 hamlets facing the threat of displacement are opposing it.

At a grievance day meeting here on Friday, K.P. Raveendran of the Pasimuthan Odai Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam, Karmangudi Venkatesan of the Theevalur Anai Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam and K.Vijaykumar of the Sethiathope Anicut Farmers Association raised the issue.

They said the extent of land required for the project seemed high. No industrial project should be set up on cultivable land.

Wherever projects were slated, the extent of land to be acquired should be kept to the minimum.

But, the trend seemed to be to acquire land in excess of the requirement, and, later, dispose them at a premium.

“The government should protect interests of the farmers before according permission to any project. As the sowing season for groundnut is about to begin, the district administration should ensure supply of adequate seeds,” they demanded.

“False accounts”

Narasimhan and Varadhan of the Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam alleged that computers in banks were giving “false accounts”. For instance, two branches of the same bank (one computerised and another manual) had worked out different rates of interest for the same amount.

When the anomaly was pointed out, the bank accepted the computer glitch and agreed to rectify the error. It advised the farmers to scrutinise the entries.

As regards the power project, District Revenue Officer R. Jayanthi said she would put forth their demand to the Government.

The Cuddalore Central Cooperative Bank had given farm advance amounting to of Rs. 124.05 crore to over 61,000 farmers till August. The Agriculture Department proposed to set up seed farms on 990 hectares, she added.

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Farmers seek White Paper on power project; People of 12 hamlets facing threat of displacement
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