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Minister lays foundation for water project

Special Correspondent
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For employees of TANTEA at Tiger Hills

Forest Minister K.T. Pachaimal laying the foundation stone for a water project near Coonoor on Saturday.
Forest Minister K.T. Pachaimal laying the foundation stone for a water project near Coonoor on Saturday.

Forest Minister K.T. Pachaimal on Saturday laid the foundation stone for a drinking water project proposed to be implemented at a cost of Rs.15 lakh for the employees of the Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation (TANTEA) at Tiger Hill near Coonoor.

He also reviewed the implementation of a modernisation scheme of the TANTEA for which Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had sanctioned Rs. 4 crore.

Later he issued orders to regularise the services of 82 temporary workers of the corporation. He handed over the orders to 14 employees, including 10 women.

Among those present were the Secretary, Environment and Forest, C.V. Shanker and the Managing Director, TANTEA, Baghawan Singh.

Earlier, Mr. Pachaimal presided over a meeting held here to discuss with representatives of some of the associations in Gudalur and surroundings their problems.

Scores of people including members of the Forum for protection of the livelihood rights of the people of Gudalur constituency and the Vivasaiyigal Thozilalargal Munnetra Sangam submitted petitions listing their demands and grievances.

Demanding immediate implementation of the Forest Rights Act, they wanted changes to be made in the district level committee formed for the purpose.

The committees constituted by the villages and gram sabhas should be recognised. The notification of the buffer area for the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) should be reconsidered.

The process of acquiring land for the Elephant Corridor near the MTR should be dropped. Private lands extending up to five hectares should be exempted from the Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forests Act.

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