Hundreds of people from around 20 villages situated around Kavuthimalai and Vediyappanmalai staged a demonstration, as part of a series of protests against the iron ore mining project, in front of Adi Annamalaiyar Temple along the girivalam path on Sunday.
The villagers raised slogans against the Tamil Nadu Iron Ore Mining Corporation’s mining project in Kavuthimalai. The protest was jointly organised by the Tiruvannamalai unit of Hindu Munnani and the Girivalam Protection Committee, along with the villagers from 26 panchayats located around the hills.
The project’s proposed site - hills - are located three km away from the Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple and Tiruvannamalai town.
“It will not only have an adverse impact on the bio-diversity of Kavuthimalai and surrounding areas, but also affect the heritage and serenity of the Arunachales-
warar temple and hills, which attract lakhs of devotees. It will pollute the holy Annamalai Hills too,” said T S Shankarr, president of Hindu Munnani.
S Marimuthu, an active member of the movement against the project, said they had planned to perform angapradarshanai in Sri Arunachaleswarar temple seeking Lord Annamlaiyar’s divine power to stop the mining project.
“Around 1,000 villagers will perform Angapradarshanai, which will start at around 7 am on Monday. After performing Angapradarshanai, we will offer prayers seeking the blessings and divine power of Annamlaiyar to stop the mining project,” said Marimuthu.
On Friday, nearly 1,500 residents from 20 villages had protested in front of the taluk office in Tiruvannamalai town. They raised slogans demanding the government to stop the project, proposed by the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation and Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Limited, to mine iron ore from the hills.