Thursday, October 13, 2022

Residents of village to be acquired for Parandur airport plan stir on Monday

Chennai: Ekanapuram village is among the few whose entire history will be erased once land is acquired for the proposed airport in Parandur. The villagers say no minister or top official has visited them to understand their pain or assure them of compensation. On Monday, nearly 2,000 people, the majority from Ekanapuram village, plan to take out a protest march to the Secretariat. The State Assembly session too is scheduled to begin on Monday. The police are yet to grant permission for the rally.

The village, with a population of 2,500, is one of the largest among the 13 in the area. All its land is to be acquired for the airport. G Subramanian, secretary of Ekanapuram Village People and Farmers Welfare Board, blames the officials for not starting a dialogue with the villagers over the acquisition of their villages. “What will we do if our entire existence is threatened? Don’t we have the right to protest?” he asks.

While officials claim the villagers have refused talks with officials, such as the deputy collector, Collector Dr M Aarthi says Congress MLA K Selvaperunthagai will visit the village on Wednesday. The collector said the government is pained over the loss of the villagers but is helpless. “The government tried to at least save their homes but it was not possible. I understand the pain, but they should also understand that the site selection was done by putting in a lot of effort. With INS Rajali nearby and a no-fly zone over Kalpakkam, we are helpless. We are ready to offer the best solution to them,” she says.

13/10/22 New Indian Express

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