Farmers climbed atop a high-tension electric tower, protesting against the move to erect electric towers on agricultural lands in the outskirts of Coimbatore on Tuesday.
As the news of their visit spread, the villagers gathered at the spot to protest.
The irate farmers got into a heated quarrel with officials and the police, who were deployed in large numbers to prevent any untoward incident. However, the officials continued to survey the land ignoring their objection. The police curtailed the protest by arresting nine farmers. Subsequently, they were taken to a marriage hall and later released in the evening.
Meanwhile, another group of farmers climbed atop an electric tower in Semmandapalayam around 10 am. Despite attempts by police to convince the protesting farmers, they refused to budge. As talks failed, the police and Revenue department officials left the spot around 6 pm.
The farmers lamented that officials don’t give them any notice prior to surveying lands. According to them, the power line passes through thousands of acres of fertile lands in several western districts. They have been protesting against the project for the past two years.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and the State government’s Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited has proposed to erect transmission towers on agriculture lands in as many as 13 districts in the State.Opposing the project, the farmers sought the State and Central governments to carry out the project by laying underground cables similar to Kerala, or to take up an alternative pathway without disturbing the farmlands. Meanwhile, CPI(M) MP PR Natarajan from Coimbatore, condemned the State for attempting to stifle the farmers who were fighting for their livelihood.