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Farmers' demand to relocate power highway

taff Reporter
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March taken out to office of Power Grid Corporation

Strong protest: Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLA, inaugurates the farmers' march to the office of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. in Pathanamthitta on Wednesday. — Photo: Leju Kamal
Strong protest: Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLA, inaugurates the farmers' march to the office of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. in Pathanamthitta on Wednesday. — Photo: Leju Kamal

: Members of the Farmers' Action Council took out a march to the office of Power Grid Corporation India Ltd. (PGCIL), here, on Wednesday to press the demand to reroute the proposed 400-kV power highway linking the Koodamkulam Atomic Power Plant in Tamil Nadu with the KSEB sub-station at Madakkathara, in Thrissur district, to lesser populated areas.

Inaugurating the march, Joseph M. Puthusserry, MLA, said the PGCIL should not construct power transmission line towers in haste, sidelining people's protests and grievances.

He said PGCIL was bound to follow the decisions taken at various high-level meetings held in connection with the mounting public protests against the existing route of the power highway. It is unfortunate to hear allegations of breach of agreement on the part of the company, he added.

The MLA said development projects were aimed at the overall development of the State as a whole and the authorities concerned should also ensure its implementation in a people-friendly manner. He said development projects should not be permitted to be anti-people.

Mr. Puthusserry said the PGCIL should stop work on the transmission towers and resume it after reaching a consensus on the same in a time-bound manner.

He said the PGCIL should explore the possibility of rerouting the power highway through lesser populated areas.

Addressing the march, People's Action Council leaders Manoj Charalel and Jyotishkumar Malayalapuzha, said the proposed route of the Koodamkulam-Madakkathara power highway would render thousands of people homeless in the five districts of Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur.

They said the action council had proposed a scheme to extend the Koodamkulam power highway by upgrading the existing 220 kV line from Edamon to Madakkathara, via Moozhiyar and Pallom, to 400 kV to ensure that it would cause only minimum damage in the populated areas.

The power highway in its present form will pass through the thickly populated areas of Thonichcal, Alimukku, Pathanapuram, Kalanjoor, Murinjakal, Konni, Mylapra, Keekozhoor, Ranni, Kottanad, Kottangal, Kangazha, Pambady, Ayarkunnam, Kidangoor and Njeezhoor.

A.G. Unnikrishnan, BJP State secretary, Sobichan Abraham, Sabu Kannankara and Padmanabhan Nair, action council leaders, also spoke.

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