CHENNAI: Residents of Ekanapuram village, which may be acquired entirely for the Parandur airport project, have withdrawn their proposed protest march to the secretariat on October 17 after three DMK ministers met them on Saturday and promised to hold discussions with the CM on safeguarding their land and homes.
On Saturday, based on CM MK Stalin’s instructions, ministers EV Velu, Thangam Thennarasu and TM Anbarasan held talks with eight members of Ekanapuram Village People and Farmers Welfare Board, a government release said.
More than 2,000 people were to take part in the protest spearheaded by Ekanapuram villagers against acquisition of land for the airport project, which, the villagers alleged, would wipe away their entire history. The villagers have been complaining that no minister or top official has come forward to hear their anguish or assure them of compensation.
G Subramanian, secretary of Ekanapuram Village People and Farmers Welfare Board, who took part in the meeting held at the secretariat, said, “We told them how the villagers will be impacted due to the land acquisition and how much damage it will cause to natural resources, including Kambuk lake. The AIADMK regime, which first proposed the project, failed to understand the impact of the project on ecology and other nearby villages,” said Subramanian.
“The ministers said they will discuss with the CM on how to implement the project without impacting the villages and panchayats,” Subramanian said. “The ministers said they have just notified the project. We will decide on how much we could help in safeguarding the land and homes of the villagers. They also asked us to withdraw the protest on Monday and we have promised to do so,” he said. Subramanian had earlier said 2,000 villagers, mostly from Ekanapuram, would march to the secretariat on Monday to protest against the land acquisition for Parandur airport. The village, one of the largest among the 13 villages, has a population of 2,400.
According to sources, the State needs 4,563.56 acres of land spread over 13 villages. Of these 3,246.38 acres are patta land and 1317.18 acres are government poramboke land. At least 1,005 families may be affected by the project.