The farmers in the district who have been staunchly opposing the laying of gas pipeline works initiated by the Gas Authority of India Limited through farms lands say that they finally see a ray of hope in the issue from the perspective of agrarian community.

“Following our representations, the government has convened a meeting of Collectors of seven districts through which the GAIL's Kochi-Bangalore gas pipeline passes in the State, at Chennai later this week, to discuss grievances raised by farmers on the matter,” G.K.Nagaraj, coordinator of Farmer's Livelihood Protection Movement, told The Hindu.

The gas pipeline taken up by the GAIL for conveying natural gas between Kochi and Bangalore passes through 22 villages in Tirupur district for a stretch of 42 km.

Contention

The farmers' fraternity has started opposing the project with the contention that laying of pipelines through their lands could restrict farming activities which, in turn, would have a cascading effect on their livelihood.

“We are still going by our stance that GAIL should try to look for alternative route alongside the highways instead of being adamant that only farm lands will be chosen for laying pipelines,” Mr. Nagaraj said.

Meanwhile, GAIL sources said that they had not stopped the work of laying pipelines in the district.

They pointed out that written consent had been obtained from around 500 farmers spread over 700 survey numbers, through which the pipelines pass. “We will be giving compensation amount for the land used for digging the pipeline with farmers retaining the ownership of the land,” officials pointed out.

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