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Talks to end protest against high-tension towers fail
Talks between State Electricity Minister P Thangamani and farmers, who are protesting the erection of high-tension towers in farmlands in western Tamil Nadu, remained inconclusive on Sunday.
Representatives of farmers’ associations from Erode, Coimbatore, Salem and Namakkal districts, who met Thangamani at Pallipalyam in Namakkal district, wanted works under way to erect power transmission towers in agricultural lands to be stopped immediately.
However, the Minister was unable to agree to their demand. “He told us that a decision will be taken after discussing the issue with officials in Chennai,” said Perumal, secretary of Namakkal Farmers Association. Following this, the farmers’ associations have decided to continue with their protest until the government comes forward to stop work.
Meanwhile, the indefinite hunger strike by ten farmers at ‘Padai Veedu’ along Sangagiri Main Road entered its eighth day on Sunday. Four of them were taken to the Sangagiri Government Hospital after their health condition worsened. Hundreds of farmers gathered at the protest venue to pledge their support.
On Friday, farmers in western districts hoisted black flags against the government’s decision atop their houses. They claimed that the power line traverses through thousands of acres of fertile farmlands in the region. They also expressed fear that their lands would lose the market value due to the project.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited has proposed to erect transmission towers on agriculture lands in as many as 13 districts of the State.