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KRRS rallies farmers against land acquisition for power grid

Staff Correspondent

92 acres of land in Askihal village identified for acquisition


Farmers demand Rs. 25 lakh an acre as compensation for losing land

We will acquire the land, even if farmers do not give their consent: district administration




Putting up a fight:Members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha erecting a board at Askihal village in Raichur district on Monday.

Askihal (Raichur district): The proposed setting up of a power grid by the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGIC) near Askihal village, 5 km from Raichur, has encountered problems as farmers are opposing the acquisition of land at the proposed site.

Activists led by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha State vice-president Chamarasa Malipatil, honorary president Amaranna Gudihal and district president Laxmangouda Kadagamdoddi on Monday put up a board challenging the Government's decision to acquire the land. The green board read: “This is the land of farmers. No officials are allowed to enter it without permission.”

Addressing a gathering at the site, Mr. Malipatil alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in the State had taken a unilateral decision on acquisition of fertile land for industrial purposes. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who had taken oath in the name of farmers, had failed to protect their interests and those of agricultural labourers. Such an attitude would not only affect the agricultural economy, but also throw farmers on the streets.

He said the Government had also acquired land for special economic zones (SEZs) to favour industrialists. Instead of fertile land, the Government should identify dry and waste land for the purpose, and acquire it after negotiating the price with the farmers, he said.

Mr. Malipatil told presspersons said that the farmers were ready to sell their land for the proposed project, but not fertile land. Farmers wanted Rs. 25 lakh an acre for their land, he said and added that if their demands were not met, they would intensify their agitation.

The PGCL requires 92 acres of land for the project. Land was recently identified near Askihal village for the project, and the district administration was urged to initiate action to acquire the land. However, landowners in the village expressed their opposition when Deputy Commissioner V. Anbu Kumar convened a meeting of farmers last week. They were told that they would be offered a maximum compensation of Rs. 4 lakh an acre.

Farmers wanted Rs. 25 lakh an acre, but the district administration rejected it and said the price would be limited to Rs.11 lakh an acre. The district administration had indicated that it would take necessary action to acquire the land at Askihal village, even if the farmers were not ready to accept the final offer. The issue was kept pending as the Deputy Commissioner had submitted a report to the State Government seeking its permission on the proposed acquisition of the land.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha , which is against the acquisition of land without the consent of farmers, mobilised them to oppose the Government.

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