Farmers and the public from seven villages in Attur Taluk conducted a massive hunger fast on Monday at Attur to protest against the proposed Railway underpass by removing the Railway Gate LC-128 on the Salem-Virdhachalam track.
The protestors said they apprehended that an underpass would be flooded by water during rainy days and would hinder free flow of traffic during rainy season,besides posing threat to the lives of people.
According to them, a large number of devotees from local and outstations visit the Vadachennimalai Murugan Temple on all days and over a lakh of people during special days and ceremonies. Over 50,000 people from Kattukottai, Sarvaipudur, Sarvai, Sadhasivapuram, Sathapadi, Punalvasal, Othiayathur and Valaiamandevi will also be impacted by the proposed removal of LC-128 Railway Gate. This includeds about 4000 students who will have to cross the underpass to go to the Government Arts college in Vadachenimallai. Also farmers would find it difficult to transport sugar cane from the villages like Manivizhundan, Kattukottai and Ammampalayam located in the north side of the Railway Gate to sugarcane mills in Perambalur and Namakkal districts. Farmers also transport more than 100 loads of tapiaco to sago factories located in the south-side of the gate.
The protestors also said they apprehend that the rain water run off from the Vadachennaimalai hillock will fill the underpass and the people may have to take diversion involving 10 kms travel to cross the Railway track. The members of the United Farmer’s Asociation and other organisations have made a represenation regarding this to the Prime Miister and the Railway Minister, General Manager Southern Railway, the Deputy Railway Division Manager, Salem and to the Salem District Collector.
The hunger fast was presided by S.Rajenderan, President, Railway Underpass Protestor’s Group. M.Saravanan, District President, United Farmer’s Assocation gave welcome speech., Aranga Sankariah, Ex-Panchayat President, Puthur Panchayat inuagurated the protest. Including T.Govindan, Secetary, United Farmers Association, members of several farmer’s outfits and the public took part in the day-long hunger fast.