PMK objects to land being given to NLCIL for expansion

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Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) youth wing leader and former Union minister, Anbumani Ramadoss has said that not a single inch of land would be given to the Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLCIL) for its expansion programme. He was addressing a public meeting at Siruvappur village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu on Sunday.

The PMK leader said that the NLCIL was in the process of acquiring 25,000 acres of land from 49 villages in Cuddalore district for its proposed Mines 1 and Mines II expansion and Mines III project.

He said that the NLCIL had acquired 36,000 acres of land when it started its operations in 1956 and that NLCL could make use of the existing land available for further expansion process.

The former Union Minister said that the existing coal reserves in NLCIL will exist for more than 30 years and hence no land was necessary for future projects.

The PMK leader said he met agriculturalists and farmers and ascertained their views before attending the public programme regarding objection to the NLCIL land acquisition programme.

Ramadoss said that the degradation of environment and land started after NLCIL set foot in the district and that it had sucked out groundwater for its projects. He said that the depth in groundwater levels has seen a steep decline from 8 feet forty years ago to 800-1200 feet now.

The senior leader charged that while NLCIL was netting an annual profit of Rs 11,500 crore, it has not given back anything to the district. He said that the PSU was yet to regularize the service of contract to workmen even after Supreme Court directive.

The PMK leader also said that the people of the area were not willing to accept the promises made by the NLCIL and added that the party is supportive of development but not at the cost of agriculture.

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