Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: The anti-land acquisition conference held here has resolved to launch an agitation in January in protest against the move to acquire agriculture and residential lands for Neelambur-Mettuppalayam bypass, Tamil Nadu Housing Board projects, airport expansion and for the widening of Palladam road.

The Tamizhagala Vivasayigal Sangham president, M.R. Sivasamy, in a statement here has said that the conference condemned the inordinate delay in the settlement of compensation to the original land owners when their lands were acquired for Bharathiar University 27 years ago.

He said that the compensation should be settled according to the court directive without any delay. For lands acquired for widening Tiruchi Road, owners should be paid the market rate, he said.

The conference resolved to ask the Government to acquire the vacant lands in Peelamedu for airport expansion or to shift the airport closer to Sulur. The conference expressed concern over the vast extent of agricultural lands that would have to be acquired for the proposed Neelambur Bypass – Mettupalayam Bypass road. Mr. Sivasamy also urged the Government to order the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) to drop all acquisition proceedings. He said that the board about 18 years ago had issued acquisition notices for several thousand acres of lands and it had acquired only 400 acres. Even for public utility purposes, the Government should give up the practice of acquiring agricultural lands and the land owners should be compensated on the basis of market value, he said.