Tamil Nadu Farmers Oppose Towers on Fertile Land, Allege Violation of Electricity Act

Reported by

Neerajha

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Updated on

July 2, 2021

Location of Conflict

Tiruppur, Erode, Namakkal, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Karur, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Vizhuppuram districts

Coimbatore

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Transmission Lines

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Tamil Nadu

Sector

Power

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited had proposed a Highvoltage Direct Current project to transmit electricity from Raigarh in Chhattisgarh via Tiruppur district in Tamil Nadu to Thrissur in Kerala. The project, which requires the laying of hightension cables and construction of towers, was proposed to supply uninterrupted power to nearly 80 million people. The governments plan was to transmit electricity over a distance of 1,800 kilometres via 900 transmission towers to be erected in Tamil Nadu alone. The project was approved by the Ministry of Power in 2014. Since its approval, farmers from 13 districts of the state have been protesting against the project. They claim that electric cables and towers could affect their livelihood as such structures reduce the value of land and make it difficult for farmers to avail loans, in addition to health hazards. The farmers have so far submitted many petitions to district officials and the state government but have not been invited for any dialogue; neither has there been any inquiry. During a few incidents of land inspection by officials, farmers reported unwarranted behaviour by police officials, such as breaking locks to enter farmlands and permitting officials to inspect lands without the permission of the land owners. They further allege that the police misbehaved with women. Police have also arrested protesting farmers. On September 13, 2019, police detained 67 people, including 20 women, who were protesting against the project in Dharapuram tehsil. They were later released. The farmers have suggested laying the transmission wires underground. On another note, the Madras High Court had suggested the state government to consider laying of underground cables to neutralise health impacts such as cancer and to reduce transmission losses. The farmers have also demanded equal compensation for all and periodic rent for usage of the fertile land, as outlined in The Electricity Act, 2003. Currently, the state offers 85 per cent guideline value for lands where towers would be erected and 15 per cent guideline value for plots over which transmission lines would pass through. Farmers have also opposed the usage of colonialera laws, such as the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, to acquire land or construct towers on agricultural land. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for compensation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Take up alternate ways of transmitting power such as laying underground cables, equal compensation for all affected farmers, periodic rent for the use of fertile land

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1500

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Electricity Act, 2003
Section 67(2) [Rules regarding the determination and payment of compensation or rent to be made by the appropriate government]; Section 67(3) [This section requires full payment of compensation to persons affected by work carried out for the purpose of laying electric supply lines]
Indian Telegraph Act, 1885
Section 10: [Power of the telegraph authority to place and maintain telegraph lines and posts]; Section 16: [Exercise of powers conferred by Section 10]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 105 [This section provides for acquisition taking place under certain Union Acts to be exempt from the process under the Act, provided that compensation is provided in accordance with the First Schedule, rehabilitation is carried out as per the Second Schedule and infrastructure amenities are provided as per the Third Schedule]; The Fourth Schedule [This Schedule exempts the Electricity Act, 2003, from the application of the Act]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Madras High Court

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Sexual violence/sexual harassment

Raid/break-in/theft

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Police arrested 67 people, including 20 women, who were protesting against the project. They were later released. The farmers allege that the police broke locks to enter farmlands and let officials inspect the lands without the permission of the land owners. They further allege that the police misbehaved with women.

Date of Violation

September 13, 2019

Location of Violation

Dharapuram tehsil

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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