Farmers in the IT corridor refuse to sell their land that is worth tens of crores
A stone’s throw away from Google’s office in Kondapur is a three-acre stretch of land that attracts more attention than the global search engine’s swanky building. The paddy field here is a grim reminder of the fact that there exist a few farmers still holding on tightly to their few acres of green patches.
“We keep getting a lot of offers from builders who want to construct residential or commercial buildings here but we refuse them as we do not want to part with the land,” said Indrasena Mudiraj, a local resident who stays in a small house at the corner of his land. “Those around us have either sold their lands or given them for development and made good money. But we are happy farming on this land as of now,” he smiled.
The going rate for an acre of land here is anywhere between Rs.15 to Rs.18 crore.
Till about a decade and a half ago, Madhapur, Kondapur, Manikonda and Gachibowli had hundreds of acres of agricultural lands and thriving dairy businesses. However, with the mushrooming of IT companies, and the subsequent real estate boom, farmers, and the age-old traditional industry, have all disappeared from these parts.
Mallesh Yadav owns a six-acre farm a few kilometres away, in Masjid Banda village of Gachibowli. Unmindful of being surrounded by the imposing DLF IT Park and other major software giants, his family goes about their farm work, which includes maintaining dozens of their cattle.
“In a year, we get a yield of 50 bags of rice from the paddy crops cultivated here,” said Mr. Yadav with an air of pride. “If we sell this land, there will be a question mark on what to do next. My family and I are happy this way.”
Mr. Yadav said though the area was rapidly developing, there was abundant groundwater in the locality, which helps him carry out his work with the help of a bore well.
In the interiors of Gachibowli in Gopanpally village, 65-year-old farmer N. Krishna has vowed to not sell his four-acre land for as long as he is alive. “The face of our village has changed in the last few years. There are so many cars and buildings around that we do not feel like we are in our village anymore. I have an emotional connect with the land and I would not sell it,” he declared.