Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM: While welcoming the proposal to start a mining and power project at Jayamkondam in the backward Ariyalur district, Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S.Ramadoss has urged the Tamil Nadu Government to set a precedent by making the land-givers shareholders of the project.

Besides giving suitable compensation for acquisition, the Government should also provide jobs to their heirs and construct housing units for them in the vicinity of the project site.

The Government proposed to acquire 4100 hectares for the project by displacing 2,500 families consisting of 10,800 people from 13 villages, Dr. Ramadoss said at a press conference held at Thailapuram near here on Thursday.

Drawing a lesson from Neyveli where those who had handed over their small land holdings to the Neyveli Lignite Corporation decades ago were still struggling to get due compensation and jobs, the Government should give a written assurance in this regard to the prospective evacuees at Jayamkondam.

When the Centre was contemplating to enact legislation to surmount the controversy over land acquisition for the special economic zones, it was only appropriate for the State Government to make firm commitments before embarking upon the project.

Dr. Ramadoss said the proposed compensation of Rs 10,000-Rs 25,000 an acre was insufficient and it ought to be Rs 5 lakh an acre.

Death penalty

Dr Ramadoss saw political motives behind the insistence of the Hindutva forces on the immediate execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was awarded death sentence in the 2001 Parliament attack case.

Quota for SCs/STs

Owing to the efforts made by Union Minister for Health Anbumani Ramadoss, the Supreme Court had permitted reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Central medical institutions.