Farmers’ federation protests land acquisition in Krishnagiri district for water harvesting scheme

The farmers said the project passes through areas that are 95% farmland, and the acquisition of 200 acres would badly affect them; they also made suggestions for an alternative route the project could take

September 04, 2023 05:25 pm | Updated 05:40 pm IST

Vivasayigal Vazhvurimaikkana Poratta Kottamaippu, a farmers federation staged a demonstration in Krishnagiri on September 4, 2023

Vivasayigal Vazhvurimaikkana Poratta Kottamaippu, a farmers federation staged a demonstration in Krishnagiri on September 4, 2023 | Photo Credit: N. Bashkaran

A farmers’ federation staged a protest demonstration outside the Krishnagiri Collectorate on Monday, protesting against a notification for the acquisition of lands for the Aliyalam Checkdam Irrigation Scheme that seeks to harvest water from Krishnagiri to the lakes of Palacodde in Dharmapuri.  

The Vivasayigal Vazhvurimaikkana Poratta Kottamaippu staged the protest, condemning the notification for the acquisition of lands for the project.

The project envisions harvesting of water from the Thenpennai river at the Azhiyalam checkdam in Shoolagiri to the Thoosetty lake in Palacodde in Dharmapuri, through a 26 km canal. This project will pass through areas that are 95% farmlands that are primarily marginal landholdings, according to the protesters . 

As of date, 200 acres of land have been notified for acquisition, the farmers’ federation said. The acquisition would unfairly hurt the interests of farmers of Krishnagiri, who will lose their lands only to fill up the lakes of Palacodde in Dharmapuri, the protesters said. They said, farmers whose lands are to be acquired, have, for long, been demanding that the canal be implemented through an alternative route to avoid such large scale acquisitions of farmlands.

The farmers’ federation also highlighted an alternative route for the canal that, they claimed, would leave farmlands unaffected and would also help fill up the intervening 15 lakes in 10 panchayats along the route.

Alternatively, water could instead be harvested from Thenpennai river in Koppakarai in Denkanikottai to Thoosetty in Palacodde, which would cost less and would involve a shorter distance, impacting fewer landholdings, the protesters said.  Scores of farmers holding banners protested against the project.

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