Farmer’s fast forces Tirupur Collector to cancel quarry permit

The protesting farmer contended that the functioning of the stone quarry led to depletion in ground water table and also caused drying up of his farm well at Kodangipalayam village near Palladam.
Farmer Vijaya Kumar on hunger strike
Farmer Vijaya Kumar on hunger strike

COIMBATORE: A farmer, who was on a fast demanding closure of a stone quarry, ended his protest on the 10th day on Thursday after Tirupur Collector S Vineeth issued an order suspending the license of the quarry.

The action by the district administration to suspend quarry operations comes in the wake of gradual increase in support by farmers associations, activists, political parties and villagers for the protest by Vijaya Kumar (45), since August 30.

The protesting farmer contended that the functioning of the stone quarry led to depletion in ground water table and also caused drying up of his farm well at Kodangipalayam village near Palladam. The drop in ground water table has taken a toll on farming activities. Also, Vijaya Kumar claimed that use of powerful explosives in the quarry to blast rocks has been disturbing the peaceful ambience of the neighbourhood.

He resorted to hunger protest after several petitions to the district administration by farmers association failed to evoke any response. Similarly, farmer Senthil Kumar (50) from ‘Ottan Thottam’ continued his hunger protest for the third consecutive day on Thursday demanding closure of another quarry functioning nearby his farm.

Tirupur Collector Vineeth said that two farmers were protesting to cancel the license of Ezhil Blue Metals and SG Blue Metals. A decision to temporarily cancel the license of Ezhil Blue Metals was taken following a peace committee meeting led by District Revenue Officer TP Jai Beam with S Mugilan, co-ordinator of Tamil Nadu Environment Protection and KS Thirugnanasambandan, co-ordinator of Noyyal River Protection Committee.

Also, action will be taken on the other quarry based on a report to be submitted by Palladam Tahsildar following an inquiry on September 10. Therefore, both the farmers have been asked to withdraw their protest,” the collector said.

Later, Vijaya Kumar withdrew his protest after officials of the revenue department handed over a copy of the order issued by the District Collector to him.

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