They were led by the Tirunelveli Mayor A.L. Subramanian and Union Minister of State for Home Radhika Selvi.
Radhika Selvi, who submitted a memorandum to the collector Prakash, said the state government had signed an MoU with the Tata group to help the people of this dry belt.
However, those who were in no way connected with Tiruneveli and Tuticorin districts, where the project is to come up, were opposing it, and demanding that the government run the project.
"Even cement industries are mining their raw materials. Is it possible for the government to run all the cement factories," she asked newsmen who were waiting outside the collectorate at Tirunelveli last evening.
She also assured local people that residential colonies would not be disturbed, and those who sold their lands would get market value. "Some people oppose the project to help a few individuals. They do not want this area to become prosperous industrially and economically."
Tamizhaga Nadars' Rights Protection commitee also submitted a memorandum to the collector demanding that the project be set up. "The south is industrially backward. People would prosper only if industries are established here" committee president Periyasamy said.