Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Singur 2 gathers storm in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu

There has been widespread political and public protests in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, again

Are the TATAs in the middle of another 'Singur Project' like mess? It would appear so from the widespread political and public protests in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu against the decision, to grant land to the TATA's for the construction of a metal processing plant.

The ambitious 'Titanium Oxide' project in Sattankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu has run into trouble. The immediate provocation is the acquisition of over 10,000 acres of land after a 'Memorandum of Understanding', was signed between the Tamil Nadu government and the TATA Group in June this year (2007). The estimated cost of project is pegged at Rs 2,500 crores.

Local groups and the political parties have joined hands to protest against the enviromental hazards that could be posed by the proposed mining of ilmenite, titanium and other minerals by the proposed TATA steel plant.

The locals claim that since the land to be acquired is cultivable land, thousands of people could end up losing their livelihood. The TATA group has however, made it clear that it will go ahead with the project, and only pay a fair price for the land it intends to acquire.

Tata Steel's Managing Director, B Muthuraman, has reacted strongly to the opposition to the project. Muthuraman states that under no circumstances, the company will back out from the project. According to Muthuraman, "TATA has always paid a very good and fair price for the land. People will be happy with the price of the land we pay. But we will not get pressurised by various other people, to pay any price that they think should be paid."

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