Residents oppose SIPCOT industrial park at Paliyapattu

They say around 1,200 acres of farmland have been identified by officials

March 08, 2022 10:31 pm | Updated 10:46 pm IST - TIRUVANNAMALAI

Residents, mostly farmers, at Paliyapattu near Tiruvannamalai have been protesting for nearly three months against the State’s proposal to set up an industrial park under the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (SIPCOT).

They say around 1,200 acres of land at Paliyapattu and neighbouring villages has been identified by officials of the Tiruvannamalai district administration. The land is spread over Selvapuram, Mariamman Nagar, Chinnapulalkadu and Puthiya Colony at Paliyapattu and Chinna Paliyapattu, a bordering village. Most of these areas are farmland, planted mainly with paddy.

“Our land is our livelihood. We have been living in the village for generations. We won’t give our land for the project even if it may bring jobs to us,” says R. Kutti, 30, a farmer.

Located around 3 km from the Girivalam pathway of Tiruvannamalai, Paliyapattu is one of the flourishing farming villages on the foothills of the Jawadhu Hills, covering around 2,800 acres of agricultural land. Apart from paddy, farmers grow groundnut and vegetables. Flowers, including marigold, jasmine and lilies, are also a major source of income for farmers in the village, with around 40% of the land set aside for flower cultivation. The temple town of Tiruvannamalai has been the key consumer of flowers from the village for years.

Officials say the district has only one industrial park, managed by SIPCOT, in Cheyyar near the Vandavasi panchayat union. Major blocks such as Chengam, Kilpennathur, Arani, Polur and Tiruvannamalai do not have such industrial zones that would create jobs for rural youth.

Paliyapattu is located in the Chengam panchayat union. The SIPCOT plans to set up 11 industrial parks in various districts, including Tiruvannamalai. These parks will provide jobs in automobile parts, manufacturing, engineering and fabrication, electronics components, rubber, printing and packing.

The villagers have launched a signature campaign, organised street-corner meetings and petitioned the Collector. They say their agitation will continue until the State government drops the plan.

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