Special Correspondent

Action committee to take out rally on July 28

Says four farmers charged with non-bailable offences

Suggests alternative route for power line

Kozhikode: Farmers’ organisations and social and political groups opposing drawing of power transmission lines for the 400-kV Mysore-Arecode power project have alleged that the farmers affected by the project are being deliberately kept in the dark about its details.

An action committee, which has representatives of the Congress, the Indian Union Muslim League, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Nationalist Congress Party, Infam and the Farmers Relief Forum, has called for a rally on July 28 in Thamarassery Town to express protest and demand withdrawal of the cases taken against the protesters.

At a press conference here on Friday, representatives of the action committee demanded exclusion of farms and populated places from the project route.

They said representatives of organisations critical of the project had not been called for talks by the District Collector, the Thiruvambady MLA or the officials of the Power Grid Corporation of India, which is implementing the project.

Survey

A survey was conducted without obtaining permission from farmers to enter their property.

Four representatives of a committee formed by people affected by power lines in Puthupady panchayat were arrested on July 10 when they asked the Power Grid officials not to step into their land without permission. These four protesters and 30 others had been charged with non-bailable offences, the action committee’s representatives said.

They alleged that the authorities gave conflicting statements about the height at which the power lines would be drawn.

Differing figure

While Electricity Minister A.K. Balan had said that the height would be 70 metres, the District Collector had put it at 45 metres.

The tahsildar’s office opened specially for this project had said that it would be 21 metres.

They said the possibility of drawing the lines through the east of Meppadi, Kalladi, Vellarimala, Irunnoorekkar, Chembothimala, Pantheerayiram, Vendekkumpoyil and Vellarimala should be explored.

District Congress Committee president K.C. Abu, Muslim League leader and former MLA C. Moieenkutty and BJP leader Girish Thevally were among those present at the press conference.

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