CHENNAI: After more than 30 years, the state government has decided to return more than 8,000 acres of land which was acquired to implement a thermal power plant project in Jayamkondam since the project remained non-starter.
State transport minister SS Sivasankar thanked chief minister MK Stalin for returning the land in a statement. "8,373 acres of land in Jayamkondam and nearby 13 villages was acquired for the power plant project in 1990. But, land owners opposed the lower compensation, and 10,000 cases were filed. In 1999, then chief minister Karunanidhi held talks with the land owners. After 2001, when AIADMK came to power, no measures were taken to implement the project," he said.
He added that after 2006, the DMK government constituted two special courts to hear 10,000 cases filed by the land owners. Compensation of Rs 15 lakh per acre was fixed and measures were taken to start the thermal project. But the AIADMK government, after 2011, went for an appeal against the compensation finalised by special court. "Meanwhile, the Neyveli Lignite Corporation backed off from implementing the project due to the lack of interest from the AIADMK government."
Before the assembly elections, chief minister MK Stalin promised to return the land to the owners. "Apart from returning the land, the chief minister has announced that the owners need not to return the compensation amount. Farmers (land owners) are happy as they were toiled without knowing whether they could get their land back or suitable compensation. Due to the action, 3,500 families are benefited. As an elected representative from Perambalur district, I thank the chief minister," he said.