The Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced that agricultural land would not be acquired for establishing an industrial complex in the Annur and Mettupalayam taluks of Coimbatore district following protests by local farmers.
“Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO) would acquire 1,630 acres of arid land belonging to private persons and the proposed park would house industries that would not pollute the air and the groundwater,” Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu said.
“The government will always listen to the concerns and demands raised by farmers…,” the Minister said.
“Whenever we want to develop infrastructure, we want to be inclusive and come to a conclusion only after listening to their concerns. The Chief Minister has been saying this consistently. The Tamil Nadu government has been rated number one in the country because of its inclusive policy,” he said.
A government press release said the objective of the industrial park was to draw more investment to Coimbatore which remained an industrial and educational hub. “The idea is to retain Coimbatore’s position as an economically developed district,” it said.
After deciding to set up the industrial park, the government issued an order on October 10 this year, announcing the identification of 3,862 acres for the purpose. But DMK leader A. Raja, representing the Nilgiris Lok Sabha constituency, requested the government to avoid acquiring agricultural land.
“The government took into consideration the request of Mr. Raja and farmers and decided to acquire only 1,630 acres of arid land from private persons. If farmers come forward to give their land for the project, the government will offer a satisfactory compensation,” the release said.
Mr. Thennarasu said he wanted to reiterate that industries polluting the air and the groundwater would not be allowed in the proposed industrial park. “We will not do anything that will harm farming. We will respect the regional ecological balance,” he added.
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