‘It will seriously affect large number of farmers in State’
MDMK general secretary Vaiko has urged the State Government to stop the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)’s gas pipeline project stating that it will affect the livelihood of farmers.
Participating at a meeting organised at Chennimalai near here on Thursday to discuss the negative impacts of the project on the farming community, Mr.Vaiko said the public sector major commenced the work of laying underground pipeline despite strong opposition from the farmers. The project would seriously affect a large number of farmers in the State as the pipeline was being laid through farm lands. According to the norms, farmers would be held responsible if any damage occurred to the pipeline, he pointed out.
Mr. Vaiko sought the intervention of the State Government and urged it to stop the work immediately. The farming community should be given adequate opportunity to raise their concerns about the project. A tripartite meeting with the participation of the farmers, officials from GAIL and the government authorities should be conducted. The farmers should be allowed to register their opposition to the project, he stressed.
Mr. Vaiko also wanted the public sector company to choose an alternative route to lay the underground pipelines to take liquefied natural gas from Kochi to Bangalore, without affecting the farming community.
Erode MP A. Ganeshamurthi, Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam founder Kolathur TS Mani, Lower Bhavani Farmers Association president S. Nallasamy, Turmeric Farmers Association of India president P.K. Deivasigamani, representatives of various farmers associations and a large number of farmers participated in the meeting.
The GAIL on Thursday completed distribution of compensation to the tune of Rs.12.6 lakh to a total of 38 farmers in Avinashi taluk at ‘revised rates’, for laying underground gas pipelines through their farms.
S.Angamuthu, senior manager of GAIL, said the compensations were given in areas under Avinashi taluk where the works had commenced at the moment in Tirupur district.
The disbursal of compensation in other areas of the district would be done as and when the works began in the respective areas.
“Each farmer has been given a compensation equivalent to 13 per cent of the ‘new guideline value’ of the land utilised for laying pipeline, as per the revised scale fixed under the directions of the State Government.
“Earlier, the farmers have been offered only a compensation of 10 per cent of the old guideline value plus amount for crops removed, if any,” he added.
Meanwhile, a group of farmers from a few hamlets of Avinashi taluk met Collector G. Govindaraj with a requisition to increase the compensation from the present rates at which the amount was being disbursed.
Mr. Govindaraj asked them to give their representation in writing and assured them that their plea would be immediately taken up with the authorities concerned.