A group of farmers and agricultural labourers from a cluster of villages near Manapparai has urged the State government to desist from wetland acquisition proceedings for setting up an industrial estate by Small Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT).

In a memorandum to Jayashree Muralidaran, Collector, at the weekly grievances day meeting here on Monday, the farmers referred to the survey being taken up in their villages for acquiring lands for the industrial estate.

The memorandum said different types of lands were available in the villages of Chokkampatti, Seethapatti, and Periyapatti in K. Periyapatti village panchayat near Manapparai.

“Farmers have set up irrigation wells and have been cultivating various crops for the past five decades. The soil and irrigation facility has been suited for cultivating paddy, sugarcane, banana, and tamarind, and we have been raising three crops a year,” said K.Senthilkumar, chairman of Manapparai panchayat union.

P.Viswanathan, State president of Tamizhaga Eri and Atrupasana Vivasayigal Sangam, who led the farmers, said wet, dry, and waste lands were available in the villages.

He suggested that the State government spare the irrigated fields and instead, acquire the dry lands or waste lands.

The acquisition of dry and waste lands would benefit the farmers and promote industrial growth in the area. The farmers wanted adequate compensation and job opportunity for the legal heirs of the land owners.