Bahour, once considered as the rice bowl of Puducherry, is fast losing that status due to the pressures of urbanisation and steady erosion of green cover. Several industries have set up their plants on those green lands.
The second largest and perhaps the oldest irrigation lake in the region, which has been in existence even before the Chola period, is poorly maintained. “The maintenance of the lake was entrusted to ‘Eri Varya Perumakkal,’ a council of elders in those days. Now the main feeding Bangaru canal was fully encroached upon and sluice gates that release water into the irrigation area also are in poor shape. The agricultural lands are fast becoming real estates,” said S. Padmanaban, Puducherry Unit President of All India Farmers’ Association. He also recalled that two-third portion of paddy-grown area turned into residential plots. Several industries set up the industrial units in the most fertile parts and tail-end areas but they closed shops within five years.
Mr. Padmanaban also said, “We believe that if the proposed Land Acquisition Bill of the Union government will be enacted, our entire land will go to industries.”
Opposing the attempt of the BJP-led Union government to enact Land Acquisition Act, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Puducherry unit on Monday took out a rally in Bahour. The activists led by its State Committee Member V.Perumal said the anti-farmer piece of legislation must be stopped and also flayed the All India NR Congress Government for extending support to the Union government.