CUDDALORE, September 27, 2007 — Elected representatives from 25 villages around SIPCOT Cuddalore, resolved against handing over lands to any industrial projects. Village leaders gathered in Samiarpettai village on 24 September expressed concern at the largescale handover of agricultural and coastal lands to industries. They said that projects such as the proposed shipbuilding yard, the Nagarjuna oil refinery and associated jetty, the SIMA textile park, and the numerous proposals to extend effluent discharge pipelines into the sea will affect the livelihoods of fisherfolk and the farmers. They appealed to the Government and private companies to abandon plans to take over lands in the name of industrial growth.
They also urged villagers not to entertain any land-agents, and to refrain from buying or selling land for industries. They warned villagers to be careful to not be tempted by the false offers made by industrialists, their middlemen or agents in the Government.
The 25-village committee has also demanded that lands already acquired be returned to the villagers. They said they will launch an indefinite agitation and also present their demands to the District Collector.