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Tamil Nadu farmers move Madras HC against Uppoor power project

Admitting a plea by Anaithu Vivasayigal Paadhukappu Nala Sangam which opposes Uppoor power project arguing that the move would destroy agriculture, thereby affecting the livelihood of over one lakh farmers, a division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee ordered a notice to the state government returnable by January 8.

 The association contended that the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) has decided to acquire lands in three villages-Thirupalakudi, Valamavoor and Uppur-to establish ‘Uppur Power Plant,’ a coal based power plant with 800 x 2 MW capacity by acquiring an extent of 543.36 hectares of land. 

 Pointing out that a major portion of the land sought to be acquired includes fertile lands, surplus outlet channels, water bodies and water ways, the plea said that the present case is a text book case of a state government bent upon destroying huge tracts of fertile agricultural lands by destroying their source of water supply from channels.

 Apart from the fact that there has not been a proper public hearing in connection with the project, the plea also accused the Ramanathapuram Collector of terrorizing through the Superintendent of Police who in turn threatened to shoot the protesting villagers and bring them to books under the Goodas Act.

 The plea stressed that the power plant project will destroy the agricultural belt in the district and sought an interim stay on any construction over the land and water bodies and to consequently restore the water channels by removing the encroachments.

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