Farmers in Kancheepuram staged a demonstration on Tuesday demanding compensation for land they gave to the government for the Kancheepuram Bypass.

According to G. Mani, one of the protesters, around 85 farmers from the villages of Keezh Ambi, Thiruparuthi Kundram, Sevilimedu, Keezh Kathirpur and Putheri had to give up over 800 acres of land to make way for the two-lane ring road.

The Rs. 34-crore stretch takes off from NH4 near Vella gate in Kancheepuram and goes up to Sevilimedu. The road offers connectivity to SIPCOT estate in Cheyyar. Land required to make the stretch a four-lane facility has been acquired.

The farmers said they had not receive dues of over Rs. 2.80 crore. They also demanded interest on the amount and sought compensation for the loss of their livelihood.

The highways department said Rs. 2.80 crore had been deposited with the revenue department towards compensation for the farmers.

Another protester S. Mani said the government had turned down their suggestion for an alternate route via Vedavalli river and Keezh Ambi lake.

“Government officials told us the road had to be completed within the stipulated time and so we handed over our land before the compensation came through. Now they are making us run from pillar to post for our rightful dues. If they do not want to give cash, why don’t they give land as compensation?” he said.

The bypass cuts across the lands of several farmers. Mr. S. Mani said a farmer in Keezh Ambi lost all his 30 cents of land. He used to harvest around 14 bags of chillies and rear pigs on that property.

“He had taken a loan of Rs. 2 lakh from the bank. Now, he has to repay with interest. He does not have any land and badly needs the compensation. There are many such cases here,” he said.

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