Agitation against coach unit in Kanjikkode

via PNS | Palakkad published on January 16, 2009

large section of residents of the Kanjikkode village in Palakkad is up
in arms against the land acquisition procedures under way for the
proposed railway coach factory there, which is said to be a
mega-project capable of enhancing the development profile of the entire
area. The agitation of the people has got the support of the BJP.

villagers have warned the Kerala and Union Governments that massive
protests are also planned f they were not prepared to honour the
people’s sentiments. They also said that they would even commit suicide
en masse to stop the land acquisition on the day the Governments are
planning to lay the foundation stone for the factory.

technical team from the Railways had completed the examination of the
site for the proposed project and granted its approval. The Railway
Board has also approved the proposed rail coach factory to be spread
over 900 acres near the Gramalakshmi Mudralayam in Kanjikkode.

the land acquisition met with problems as stiff protests came from the
people in the village. The villagers have accused the State Government
of neglecting their demands.

The area proposed for the project
has about 450 houses in which more than 700 families are residing.
Reports say that as per the Government’s survey findings, there are
only 40 houses. The villagers say that this report is incorrect.

Factory Action Council president C Krishnan said that there had been no
response till date from the Government regarding the complaints made by
the action committee. He said no discussions on rehabilitation had been
carried out with the villagers. Even Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan
had visited the place and announced that only 40 families had to be
relocated, he said.

The agitating villagers are being supported
by the Bharatiya Janata Party. According to former State BJP president
CK Padmanabhan, the Government had embarked on an unethical programme
of taking over land belonging to the poor for the proposed factory when
there was enough uninhabited land adjacent to the proposed site. But,
he said, there were reports suggesting that some CPI(M) people close to
Achuthanandan owned land in these areas. If land acquisition took place
here it would be equal to the programmes the CPI(M) Government in West
Bengal had tried to implement in Singur, he said.

Despite the
agitation, the Union Government has decided to acquire land under the
fast track process so that work could begin at the site, he said.
According to he Chief Minister, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was
to lay the foundation stone of the factory this month.

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