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Panruti MLA disputes Minister's contention

Special Correspondent
The Hindu, 12 December 2007

"Power project will affect Thiagavalli panchayat"

CUDDALORE: Disputing the contention of Electricity Minister Arcot N.Veeraswami, Panruti MLA T.Velmurugan (PMK) has said that Thiagavalli panchayat is richly endowed with herbs, coconut, palm and casuarina groves, besides growing paddy and groundnut.

Mr. Velmurugan told presspersons that the statement of the Minister that not even a single acre of cultivable land would be affected by the proposed power project being promoted by the Cuddalore Power Company, was far from truth.

He said that next to Kerala, Thiagavalli was raising 'vettiver' in large quantities. The herb fetched Rs. 30,000 a tonne and each acre would yield five tonnes of the herb. Of the total area of 2,887 acres in Thiagavalli, cash crops are being raised on over 1,000 acres. Mr. Velmurugan said that even the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University had put up a trail plot for paddy there.

The Forest Department had put up a notice board stating that huge sand dunes and casuarina and palm groves had protected the inhabitants from the tsunami in December 2004.

The proposed 1,320-MW thermal station would consume 13,680 tonnes of coal every day and generate 2,052 tonnes of flyash. It would require 12,200 cubic metres of seawater and let out a similar quantum of hot water into the sea, thereby endangering marine life.

The government should constitute a committee of experts under a sitting judge of the Madras High Court to study the issues in detail, he added.

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