Say livelihood of 1,200 families will be affected as site is on fertile land

Over 50 residents of Vandalur, along with the CPI (ML) and the All India Agricultural Labour Association, attempted to march to the Kancheepuram collector’s office on Sunday morning.

The residents were protesting the State government’s plan to set up a bus terminus on agricultural land.

Police said the protesters gathered around 10 a.m., and 15 of them were arrested but released in the evening.

With Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus (CMBT) in Koyambedu struggling to accommodate the increasing number of buses to other districts and States, the government has decided to set up a new terminus that would handle some of this load.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has identified 65 acres in Vandalur, where the new terminus it to come up. “The land, on the Vandalur–Walajahbad Highway, is fertile agriculture land which is a source of livelihood for over 1,200 families,” said C. Eraniappan, Kancheepuram district secretary of the CPI (ML).

According to him, the land was selected for the new terminus as there is a railway station nearby which can provide connectivity. “The government can construct the terminus on waste land instead of taking fertile farming land,” Mr. Eraniappan added.

V.A. Dharma Naicker, who owns 8.5 acres of land on the proposed site, said, “We have been agriculturists on this land for generations. If the government takes it away from us, how will we find another profession?”

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