The members of the Udupi taluk unit of Karnataka Pranta Krishi Koolikarara Sangha (Karnataka Agricultural Workers' Union) affiliated to the All India Agricultural Workers' Union (AIAWU) staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office on Friday demanding sites to landless agricultural workers.

Convenor of the taluk unit of the union Dogu Suvarna said many poor farmers living in rural areas of Udupi taluk did not have sites of their own. A memorandum on this issue had been submitted to the Udupi tahsildar earlier but there had been no action. Many poor people had built their houses on government and forest land. The government should provide title deeds and regularise these houses.

The government should bring in an integrated and progressive Land Reforms Act. The government should confiscate revenue and forestlands encroached by rich people . Many poor people had been cultivating crops on forestland in the State. Such people should not be evicted. Agricultural lands belonging to the farmers should not be acquired for public purposes without their permission. The farmers who suffer crop loss due to floods should be given a minimum relief of Rs. 10,000 an acre. Those who lost their houses in floods should be given a minimum relief of Rs. 1 lakh each.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREG) Scheme should be implemented in all villages without giving scope for any corruption. The MGNREG scheme should be extended to urban areas. All poor families should be given a single uniform type of ration card, Mr. Suvarna said.

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