‘Pennycuick memorial premises not a right choice for library’

Set up Kalaignar Memorial Library in some other site, says farmers’ forum

Federation of Periyar-Vaigai Irrigation Ayacut Farmers’ Associations has asked the State government to reconsider its decision on setting up Kalaignar Memorial Library on the premises that has been serving as the memorial of Col. John Pennycuick, the architect behind the construction of Periyar dam.

In a memorandum submitted to Madurai Collector S. Aneesh Sekhar, its president M. P. Raman said that British engineer Pennycuick had constructed the reservoir with strenuous efforts and selfless service by selling his properties in England.

The reservoir had been the lifeline of Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts and the river waters saved people from severe drought.

Stating that Col Pennycuick was a “God” for farmers of southern districts as he gave them their livelihood for over a century and ensured food for people, the forum said that the State government should not construct the library on the two-acre premises that housed the residence of Pennycuick.

Farmers of southern districts held Pennycuick in much reverence that his photograph adorns many houses, especially in their puja room.

So the government should look for some other site, the memorandum said.

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