CM's assurance to PMK on compensation to villagers for NLC land

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Chennai, Oct 19 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today assured the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) that the government would look into the demand of providing compensation to the villagers in Cuddalore District, who had given their lands for the Public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

Replying to a call attention raised by T Velmurugan (PMK), the Chief Minister told the assembly that the member has given a detailed account of the plight of the villagers and the Government would certainly look into the demand.

Raising the issue, Mr Velmuguran said the NLC had been acquiring lands, through the State Government in about 60 villages under the Coal Bearing Act, but the villagers were not paid enough compensation.

He said the NLC was making a profit of about Rs 30 crore from one acre of land in coal mining, in a year, but was not willing to come forward, even to share one per cent of the profit, which worked out to Rs 30 lakh to them.

There were as many as 17,000 contract employees and 3,000 apprentices, but despite several agitations and hunger strikes, the Management would not come forward to regularise their services, he said.

The NLC never carried out its Corporate Social Responsibility, the PMK leader alleged. The local villagers were deprived of medical facilities in the NLC hospital and prevented from using the water sources. ''The NLC is functioning as if it were a separate state'', he alleged.

He said party founder Dr S Ramadoss proposed to organise a massive agitation, involving about one lakh people on October 18, but led a symbolic stir, following assurance from the Chief Minister.

Mr Karunanidhi should take up the issue with Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Minerals and convene a meeting with NLC management to redress the grievances of the villagers, Mr Velmurugan added.

UNI

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