August 1, 2016
Chennai: MC Sampath, the state Industries Minister, today said that the interests of farmers in the seven districts of Tamil Nadu will not be sacrificed in the GAIL pipeline project issue.
Replying to the query raised by the leader of the Opposition, MK Stalin, on the recent remarks by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan that the GAIL pipelines will be laid across agricultural lands, the minister replied that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is very particular about protecting the livelihood of the farmers. “All steps are being taken to ensure that they would not face even small amount of trouble,” he said.
The Minister informed the Assembly of the various steps taken by the state to prevent the disaster, including petitioning the Supreme Court, and instructing GAIL to lay the pipelines via highways.
The controversial GAIL pipelines are being laid to connect the Kochi terminal with Kuttanad, Bengaluru, and Mangaluru. About 300-kilometre-long portion of the pipeline passes through Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts in Tamil Nadu.
While GAIL has taken the trouble of ensuring that the pipeline travels through the highways in Kerala, they are aligned very close to the homes and farmlands in Tamil Nadu. Once functional, these pipelines will render the farmlands useless. More than 5000 small farmers stand to lose their lands and livelihood.