The Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam has convened a meeting of farmers, to be held on May 17, to decide on the future course of action regarding the move to acquire agricultural lands for highway projects.

Farmers arrest

The president of the association, M.R. Sivasamy, criticised the Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh for arresting the farmers for opposing the acquisition of agricultural lands for highway projects.

Till a farmer-friendly land acquisition act was enacted in the next session of the Parliament, as announced by the Union Government in the wake of the Aligarh farmers protest, no land acquisition should take place for any project in the country, he said.

Mr. Sivasamy also welcomed the statement of Medha Patkar that farm lands were being acquired at throw away prices to suit the personal interests of individuals in the name of public interest.

Citing an example, Mr. Sivasamy said that instead of laying a 30 km bypass road at Neelambur towards Mettupalayam, the official machinery was keen to lay a bypass road for 53 km via Saravanampatti in a bid to benefit the land owners and industrialists in Saravanampatti area.

Until the new land acquisition legislation comes into being, Mr.Sivasamy demanded that the land acquisition be put on hold.