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Farmers protest against move to erect high-tension power line

COIMBATORE: More than 500 farmers from Erode, Tirupur, Salem and Dharmapuri districts took part in a day-long hunger strike in front of the road transport office at Perundurai on Sunday, demanding that the state government stop the installation of high-tension power cables over their farmland.

A nearly 200km-long high-tension electricity line will traverse over farmlands in Tirupur, Erode, Salem and Dharmpauri till Pennagram and reach Karnataka. The high-tension power line will supply 400KW electricity generated from wind mills.

The wind power will be generated at Rasipalayam in Dharapuram taluk. According to a farmer S Chinnasamy, nearly 3,000 acres of farmland will be affected because of this high-tension electricity line. “The towers holding the cable will be erected on our land, and we are not even being provided compensation for it. Besides, there is the risks of accidents too,” he said.

The power project has been contracted to private companies, but the farmers are not aware if the project is coordinated by the state government or the central government.

A farmer said there many other alternative routes where the power line can be laid. “The easiest option is to lay the cable underground along the highway. It will be safe and the government does not have to acquire land also for that,” said Chinnsamy.

The farmers want the state government to intervene in the matter and help them with a solution on the problem. “We carried out a protest on March 19 and since there was no action taken held this hunger strike,” said Chinnsamy, adding that if the state government did not budge, the farmers would intensify the protest.