District Collector G. Govindaraj and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) officials, on Tuesday, offered the enhanced compensation package in the talks held with farmers from Avinashi taluk on whose land through which the company will lay underground pipeline to take liquefied natural gas from Kochi to Bangalore.

Mr. Govindaraj told them that the revised amount was ready for disbursal which, according to GAIL sources, is almost eight times more than the initial offer.

The revision was made because a section of the land owners had termed the earlier package as “inadequate” to offset the losses caused to the crops.

Landholders refused to accept even the revised amount and stuck to their stand that the pipeline should be laid through a different alignment close to highways.According to the project outlay, almost 8 km of the pipeline will pass through Itchipalayam, Pallavaryanpalayam, Sarkarkthakanni, Agraharakathakani, and Anaipalayam villages in Avinashi taluk.

Sources in GAIL pointed out that only a miniscule proportion of the land in the project area through which the gas pipeline passes actually have crops.

Mr. Govindaraj said the matter would be referred to the government for further course of action with the concerns raised by the farmers.

Sources told The Hindu that during the closed door talks with the people at the Collectorate on the day, Mr. Govindaraj explained the revised compensation package.

The fresh evaluation was arrived at considering two parameters – standing crops and land.

On the land component, the new package had computed compensation as 13 per cent of ‘new guideline’ value of respective plots against 10 per cent of the ‘old guideline’ value taken in the initial offer.

“Most importantly, we are only exercising ‘Right of Use’ of land provision during the project with ownership of the land remaining with farmers and farming activities will be disrupted only for a brief period during the laying of pipelines,” GAIL officials said.

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