Tamil Nadu

Nallakannu, Seeman arrested near Srivaikuntam reservoir

Farmers and senior CPI leader R. Nallakannu lay siege to Srivaikuntam dam in Tuticorin district on Wednesday.— Photo: N. Rajesh

Farmers and senior CPI leader R. Nallakannu lay siege to Srivaikuntam dam in Tuticorin district on Wednesday.— Photo: N. Rajesh  

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Farmers in Srivaikuntam and Tamiraparani River Water Protection Federation allege irregularities in the desilting work and seek the intervention of district administration.

As many as 176 persons, including R. Nallakannu, senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Seeman, founder of Naam Tamilar Katchi, S.P. Udayakumar, coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, courted arrest on Wednesday while attempting to lay siege to Srivaikuntam dam, where desilting works are under way as per a directive from the National Green Tribunal.

They were arrested under Sections 143 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code by Srivaikuntam police and later released.

Most of the shops in the area remained closed as traders extended their support to farmers, who are urging the State government to set up a joint committee to monitor desilting works which started on June 30. The farmers are also demanding that the committee should comprise farmers, officials and the public to ensure transparency.

The desilting work has been taken up by Public Works Department for a 5.1-km stretch of the dam. It is alleged that priority is given to removing soil from the dam to sell it “illegally.” Farmers in Srivaikuntam and Tamiraparani River Water Protection Federation allege irregularities in the desilting work and seek the intervention of district administration to install CCTV cameras at the site.

Besides, they also demand that the first reach of the dam must be desilted, the 18 shutters of the dam should be maintained properly and soil should not be lifted for a distance of 500 metres from aquifers, and the removed soil must be either given to the farmers or sold to the needy at a price fixed by the government.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:50:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/nallakannu-seeman-arrested-near-srivaikuntam-reservoir/article7683268.ece

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