CHENNAI: Many political parties including MDMK, PMK, CPM, TMC, KNMDK and Pachai Thamizhagam on Tuesday expressed shock on the Supreme Court verdict allowing GAIL pipelines through farm land in seven districts of Tamil Nadu and demanded that the State government should immediately file a review petition in the apex court. All wanted the project implemented along national highways and through arable land.
The MDMK leader Vaiko said GAIL had obtained rights from 5,842 farmers to lay pipelines on 1,491 acres of farm land. But, farmers in the seven districts found that a larger area of lands was spoiled by the project and started opposing the project, he said. The State government should file a review petition as its rights had been denied. The other pipelines of GAIL through Kochi-Bangalore, besides those in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh were being laid along the national highways, Vaiko said and threatened to begin a protest to protect farmers’ rights.
The PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss blamed the State government for not presenting the case properly and wondered how the Supreme Court could allow a project which affected farmers. He said the Centre should advise GAIL to implement the project along the national highways. Anbumani threatened to mobilise a public protest against the scheme.
Tamil Maanila Congress leader GK Vasan too opposed the scheme and asked the State government to file a review petition. The CPM State committee also passed a resolution asking the State government to file a review petition as laying pipelines through farm land would affect the farmers’ livelihood.
Kongu Nadu Makkal Desiya Katchi leader ER Eswaran said the project should be implemented along the highways and not through farm land. Farmers in the western belt would not allow this project, he added.