Stating that the Supreme Court’s green signal to Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to lay natural gas pipelines across seven districts would affect the farmers directly, the district unit of All India Kissan Sabha, Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, staged protest outside the BSNL office on Five Road here on Wednesday.
Led by its district president A. Ponnusamy, secretary S.P. Thangavel and treasurer R. Kulandaivel, members said that the pipeline traverses through 29 villages in Salem and 13 villages in Namakkal district here.
In Salem district, 70 km. of the pipeline passes through Sankari and Omalur taluk’s where agriculture is the major activity. “The apex court failed to consider the explosion at GAIL pipeline in Andhra Pradesh in 2014”, they added.
They said that lives of farmers are at stake after the court permitted the company to lay the pipeline. Members wanted the State government to go for appeal immediately before the company begins the work in the districts. There is urgent need for taking up the issue to solve the grievances of the farmers”, they added. Farmers also said that adequate compensation is not a question when safety of farmers is a question. In Tiruchengode, farmers of Karuma Goundampalayam wanted the State Government to bring in a new law to protect the farming community so that pipelines are not laid in agricultural fields. They said that when agriculture is the backbone of the country, the Central government is trying to break it and push the sector so that it cannot recover.