Villagers agitate against Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Limited – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

CUDDALORE: Dozens of residents, including women and children, from villages near Neyveli staged a protest on Wednesday night condemning the Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Limited (NLCIL) for disconnecting electricity and water supply from their regions.
This comes after the NLCIL, ahead of a mine expansion project, asked almost five hundred families residing on company lands at ITI Nagar, Tiruvalluvar Nagar and Sivaji Nagar in Mandarakuppam village to leave from there, sources said. Families have resided there for more than three decades.

Sources said that with the villagers refusing to leave, the NLCIL leadership cut off the water and electricity supply to the areas two weeks ago. On Wednesday, nearly a hundred residents of ITI Nagar demonstrated with torches and lighted candles, demanding the immediate restoration of power supply.

Speaking to the media, residents said, “More than fifty students are appearing for public exams in our region. They have to study without power supply. They added that they had already protested to the NLCIL and sent petitions to the NLCIL leadership, district collector, MLA and RDO regarding the matter, but no action was taken.

Meanwhile, an NLCIL source said the land was owned by the company and people were allowed to stay there temporarily. The NLCIL also provided them with water on a “humanitarian” basis, but no power supply was provided. The insider alleged that residents used hooks on nearby power lines and were supplied with electricity, and further said that power to that line was disconnected.

Virudachalam Tahsildar Dhanabathy inspected the place and inquired about the problem. A Revenue Department source said, “The Electricity Department is prepared to restore power to these areas, but a ‘No Objection Certificate’ is required from NLCIL management as the land belong to them”.

Alan A. Seibert