Palakkad adivasis to share profits of wind power firm

August 24th, 2011 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 24 (IANS) The Oommen Chandy government in Kerala has decided to give a portion of multinational Suzlon’s profits to the adivasis of Palakkad district on whose lands the wind power company erected windmills.

Earlier, when in opposition, Congressman Chandy had demanded of the government then led by Marxist V.S. Achuthanandan strict action against Suzlon for “usurping” adivasis’ lands. Chandy told reporters here Wednesday that the demand for profit sharing had come from the adivasis themselves.

“We had a meeting with representatives of adivasis and activists associated with this land issue,” Chandy said. “They were of the firm opinion that they do not want the land back; instead they wanted a share in profit.”

Suzlon has purchased 645 acres of land in the Attapadi tribal area of the Palakkad district and there are allegations that the company had “usurped” the land that originally belonged to the adivasis.

“At the moment there is a dispute on the exact extent of land that has been ‘usurped’ by Suzlon: while the company says it is 85.2 acres, the adivasis say it could be as high as 180 acres,” Chandy said.

“We have given three months to the authorities to find out the details,” Chandy said. “If there is doubt, the benefit will go to the adivasis.”

“In three months, a clear picture will also emerge on the nature of profit sharing and the land involved,” the chief minister added.

Expressing solidarity with the adivasis, Chandy said, “The ownership will rest with the adivasis. Besides getting a share in profit, they will also be allowed to conduct their farming activities.”

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