PMK flays administration on land compensation

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Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, Mar 5 (UNI) The land acquisition issue by the Nevyeli Lignite Corporation (NLC) continued to hog the headlines with the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) today alleging the compensation of Rs five lakh to the affected people was nothing but 'an act of cheating.' Addressing the press here, PMK MLA T Velmurugan claimed Collector Rajendra Ratnoo held talks with only one panchayat chief who favoured the acquisition process and distributed a compensation of Rs five lakh per acre to each affected person, claiming to have settled the issue. 'This was a mystery.' The chiefs of 13 other panchayats were not called for the talks, Mr Velmurugan claimed, adding that the Collector did not hold proper negotiations while arriving at the settlement.

He warned of an agitation under the leadership of PMK Founder-Chief S Ramadoss if the 18-point-charter of demands, including compensation of Rs 20 lakh per acre and a job for one member of each affected family was not met and warned the authorities against taking tough action on the protestors.

On February 28 this year, Mr Ratnoo held a daylong tripartite meeting, involving revenue officials, NLC management and people affected by the land acquisition.

As per the agreement, the NLC management came forward to distribute Rs five lakh per acre of land as compensation to the affected people.

People in the peripheral villages were protesting against the NLC move to acquire land in the region where NLC had been distributing a compensation of Rs 80,000 and above for an acre.

They wanted the NLC to hike the compensation as land value had increased significantly. Residents had demanded that the State Government intervene and had staged agitations on several occasions.

Many rounds of talks between the NLC management, local residents and district administration were conducted but in vain.

UNI XR GM MS ND1834

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