The CPI in Tamil Nadu on Saturday urged the state government to hold talks with farmers opposed to setting up electricity transmission towers over farm lands. Farmers have been stoutly opposing proposals to erect High Tension (HT) power distribution towers over farm lands in regions including western Tamil Nadu, CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan said.
Ryots have been demanding that such electricity infrastructure be installed in spaces other than agricultural lands, he said in a statement here. They have announced that they would be holding peaceful protests in over 50 locations on November 18 in Tamil Nadu to urge the State and Central governments to resolve the issue and the CPI would take part in the demonstrations.
While the Tamil Nadu government should intervene and resolve the issue, it is a matter of anguish that Electricity Minister P Thangamani has "levelled allegations against opposition parties to divert people's attention." "...farmers getting affected is not related to politics and the government, by brushing aside their demands is pushing them towards protest demonstrations and both the government and the (Electricity) Minister should realise this," he said.
Viewing protest demonstrations as a mere law and order issue is myopic and would not help cordial resolution of the matter. Bearing this aspect in mind, Chief Minister K Palaniswami should call those opposed to setting up transmission towers over farmlands for talks and find a solution, the left party leader said.
Recently, Palaniswami had regretted that acquiring lands for development projects including setting up electricity infrastructure like towers was facing difficulties in view of opposition, which was also backed by some parties. Farmers have been protesting setting up HT lines over farm lands and had held demonstrations like climbing a transmission tower to oppose the initiative.