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Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004

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Human chain against water for Chennai

By Our Staff Reporter



Farmers, residents and members of political parties forming a human chain on GST Road at Madurantakam on Monday protesting the Government's move to pump water from the Madurantakam tank for supply to Chennai. — Photo: A. Muralitharan

KANCHEEPURAM, JAN. 12. Thousands of farmers, residents and members of political parties, except the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, from Madurantakam and neighbouring villages formed a human chain on either side of the Grand Southern Trunk Road this evening to protest the Government move to pump water from the 2000-acre sprawling irrigation tank for providing drinking water to Chennai.

The farmers threatened to intensify the agitation if the Government did not give up its move.

They told The Hindu that the tank did not touch its full level (25 feet) for several years and the present storage was not even one-fourth of its capacity.

The tank served the irrigation needs of nearly 25,000 acres at Madurantakam and about 20 neighbouring villages besides providing drinking water.

According to the farmers, if water is pumped out from the tank, it will badly affect the level of irrigation wells in about 50 villages.

The widening of the National Highways and new constructions affected flow of water to the tank.

The protest was organised by the Madurantakam Tank Water Protection Action Committee.

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