Farmers from Vandalur staged a protest in the city on Monday against the State Government’s plan to set up a bus terminus in their area. They claimed that it was an agricultural land and that the move would result in loss of their livelihood.
Close to 100 members of the Vandalur Village Small Farmers Welfare Association demanded that the proposed bus terminus be shifted to another location.
The State Government announced the plan to set up the bus terminus in Vandalur, as the Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus (CMBT) located in Koyambedu was running short of space to accommodate the increasing number of buses plying to other districts and States.
The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) had also identified 65 acres in Vandalur for the new terminus.
The protestors said that over 500 families were solely dependent on agriculture — both lake irrigation and well irrigation in the land, where the terminus had been proposed to come up.
“The land identified near Vandalur-Walajahbad Highway near the railway station is a fertile land and is the only source of livelihood for many farmers and labourers,” said C Eraniappan, secretary, Vandalur Village Small Farmers Welfare Association.
The protestors claimed that many farmers had left the village earlier, after the government acquired their agricultural lands for various other plans, including road expansions. The terminus would only add to the already existing traffic woes on the Vandalur-Perungalathur stretch that witnessed heavy flow of vehicles that moved at a snail’s pace, they said.
The farmers suggested that the government could instead shift the terminus to neighbouring areas like Kelambakkam or next to the Zoological Park.
“We want to take this issue to the Chief Minister’s knowledge, as we feel she had been given wrong information about the lands. We have staged various protests earlier and we will continue to until we find a solution,” the secretary added.