Tamil Nadu

Residents of 15 villages oppose Silahalla hydroelectric project

Joint opposition: Residents opposed to the project taking part in a meeting on Sunda

Joint opposition: Residents opposed to the project taking part in a meeting on Sunda   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL.

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They fear that the two proposed dams will submerge their land

Residents and farmers from around 15 villages, who fear that they may be affected by the 2,000-MW Silahalla hydroelectric project, voiced their opposition to the project during a meeting organised at Balocola village outside Udhagamandalam town on Sunday.

Representatives from Kanneri Mandhanai, Shree Ram Nagar, Thangadu, Oranalli, Manihatty, Meekery, Balocola, Muthukula, Nunthala, Thulithalai, Appukodu, Puduhatty, Kallakorai, Palada and Muthorai unanimously voiced their opposition to the project.

The leaders from the villages said the livelihoods of more than 2,000 farmers could be affected if the hydroelectric project was implemented.

They also feared that agricultural lands could be submerged and people rendered homeless, if the two dams planned as part of the project are constructed.

According to farmers and residents at the meeting, they were briefed by officials from the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) that the ₹7,000-crore project would involve construction of two dams, one near Kundha and another near Shree Ram Nagar in Kanneri Mandhanai.

The residents were told that the project would involve the construction of tunnels, which they fear could destabilise the slopes on which their villages are located, leading to further landslips and disasters.

Rain havoc

K. Nagarajan, a resident of Shree Ram Nagar, Kanneri Mandhanai, whose seven-acre plot might be flooded, said that this year residents of Kundah witnessed widespread destruction in the form of landslips due to record rains in the region.

“Such heavy rains could spell disaster for people who will be living close to the proposed Silahalla hydro-electric plants,” said Mr. Nagarajan.

The residents passed a resolution that if the government continued to persist with plan for the project, which was first announced in 2013, large-scale protests would be organised.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:23:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/residents-of-15-villages-oppose-silahalla-hydroelectric-project/article30488698.ece

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