Fifty-eight-year-old farmer Kandhasamy had participated in a massive protest organised by farmers against the state government’s proposed move to acquire 570 acres for the expansion of the airport, at the Collector’s office on Monday.
“He owned around 11 acres of farmland behind the airport at Kaamalapuram. The administration had first acquired his four acres of land for expansion works. Again, Kandhasamy was notified about taking over his remaining seven acres of land for airport works,” said police.
The farmer was found depressed over losing his entire property, his only source of livelihood, to the government for a paltry sum as compensation.
“On Monday, Kandhasamy participated in the protest along with hundreds of others and returned home dejected. Kandhasamy subsequently suffered a cardiac arrest and died,” said police sources.
The government has proposed to acquire farmlands spread over Kaamalapuram, Pottiyapuram, Thumbipadi and Sikkanampatti villages for upgrading the airport at Kaamalapuram. However, farmers want the government to carry out the airport expansion works by taking over waste and non-fertile lands.
There are about 3,000 families in the four villages and they have been eking out a living through farming. The Kaamalapuram airport, which remained defunct for about seven years, commenced operations with the start of flight service between Salem and Chennai last week.