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Farmers oppose land for steel company

Staff Correspondent

They allege that 315 acres of land is being allotted for lime stone mining



INSECURE: The people of Aralimatti, Avaradi and adjoining villages in Gokak taluk staging a demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Belgaum on Monday to protest against the move to hand over cultivable land to a Pune-based industry.

Belgaum: The villagers, mainly farmers of Aralimatti, Avaradi and adjoining villages of Gokak taluk have opposed the alleged move of the Pune-based steel company to acquire over 5,000 acres of land and declared that they would resist all moves by the district administration and the Government to oblige the company.

The villagers vehemently opposed the move of the State Government to lease over 300 acres of barren land in Survey No.74 at Aralimatti village for mining.

Staging a strong protest in front of deputy commissioner’s office here on Monday, the villagers told the Additional Deputy Commissioner Vijay Kumar Torgal that the S.E. Steels had taken measures to acquire 5,376 acres of fertile farmland spread across five villages, including Aralimatti and Avaradi.

Although the people of the village were not against development of industries, they would not hand over their fertile cultivable lands for industrial purpose as it would disrupt the life of hundreds of families.

The villagers opposed the alleged move by the Gokak taluk administration to lease out 315 acres of barren land for extraction of lime stone to the influential mining barons. The lands identified for mining were close to the pipelines connected with the Rameshwar Lift Irrigation project.

Any explosion would damage these pipelines and result in huge losses to the Government.

Moreover, the sugarcane growers from these villages were seriously working out a plan to establish a co-operative sugar factory.

Speaking on behalf of the people of the village, Bheemappa Gadad alleged that the Department of Mines and Geology was hand-in-glove with the mining barons as it had declared even the cultivable lands surrounding the site identified for mining purposes as barren while the fact was that farmers had taken up sugarcane crops.

He demanded that the Government take action against the officials of the department even as some shouted demanding the matter to be inquired by Lokayukta police.

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