Madurai

Uppur thermal plant: fishermen flay laying of pipeline in sea

Country boat fishermen staging a protest against laying of pipelines at Morepannai in Ramanathapuram district.

Country boat fishermen staging a protest against laying of pipelines at Morepannai in Ramanathapuram district.   | Photo Credit: L_Balachandar

Country boat fishermen, who had been opposing laying of pipelines for the ₹12,655 crore Uppur Thermal Power plant, ‘laid siege’ at the project site inside the sea off Morepannai fishing hamlet on Thursday.

After last month’s second round of talks with Collector K Veera Raghava Rao ended with fishermen staging a walkout, country boat fishermen from Morepannai and nearby coastal fishing hamlets, sailed to the project site, about two km inside the sea off Morepannai and registered their protest.

Fishermen from Devipattinam to Thondi participated in the protest, sailing in about 100 boats after hoisting black flags in the boats, said Durai Balan, secretary of the East Coast Fishing Hamlets Fishermen Federation.

They said that the laying of pipelines at an elevated bridge up to about 8 km inside the sea from the shore would hinder free movement of sail boats, being used by majority of country craft fishermen and hit their livelihood. Both drawing and discharge of sea water would affect marine life in the region and pose serious threat to their livelihood, they said.

When the Collector was holding talks with them last month, the officials stopped the work briefly only to it resume now, Mr Balan said and demanded stopping of works till the Fisheries department gave its opinion. The department has suggested that L&T, which was implementing the seawater project, could consider increasing the height of spans, from the existing six metres in a particular stretch for free movement of sail boats, he said.

Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation officials said the pipe laying work was going on as the question of increasing the height of the spans would arise only after reaching three km into the sea. Fishermen from Morepannai, Thondi, Nambuthalai, Devipattinam, Pudupattinam, Thirupalaikudi, Mullimunai and Karankadu took part in the agitation.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 5:39:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/uppur-thermal-plant-fishermen-flay-laying-of-pipeline-in-sea/article29460897.ece

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