Residents in the vicinity of Bangara Kuloor are unwilling to part with their land

The Dakshina Kannada Cricket Association's proposal to construct an international cricket stadium here appears to have been made without a concrete plan.

The association laid the foundation stone on 4.5 acres of land at Bangara Kuloor on Wednesday and projected the move as the first step towards the construction of a cricket stadium of international standards. Its members hope that, like the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, this stadium too would have a clubhouse, gymnasiums, badminton and tennis courts as well as a bar and restaurant.

But to translate this plan into reality, the association needs a much larger area, and there is no clarity where the remaining land will come from.

By the projection of the association's office-bearers who addressed a press conference here on Thursday, a complete stadium will require at least 18 acres. They said the 4.5 acres given to them by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department will form the core of the stadium. The surrounding land will be acquired in stages to form a contiguous holding of around 18 acres.

But acquisition of surrounding land appears to be a knotty issue. President of the DKCA Srikanth Rai said that the association was “absolutely sure” of getting an additional six acres of land.

About half of these six acres is entangled in litigation, and local residents are threatening to oppose the acquisition. However, Mr. Rai said that the district administration had promised to help the association in resolving this issue.

Even if the association manages to acquire all the 11.5 acres, it will be short of seven acres. The association plans to acquire this land from private owners in the vicinity, which is likely to pose even bigger problems.

The seven acres of land are held by nearly 30 families, who are reportedly unwilling to part with it.

When the area was visited after the press conference, it was found that a majority of the landowners there are against acquisition because of either sentimental or economic reasons.

B.K. Ramu (60), a resident, said that the land identified for acquisition also houses a 200-year-old temple of Kodadabbu Daiva. He said that his family was one of its caretakers, which had over 3,000 people from Bangara Kuloor and neighbouring areas of Kottara, Panjimagoaru, Padukodi and Maladi as devotees. His son Prasad said that the residents of the area had submitted a memorandum to the district administration expressing their opposition.

Others such as Jayashree (45) and Avid D'Souza said that they were agriculturists and parting with the land would rob them off their livelihood. All the residents said that they were unwilling to part with their land even for a very good compensation package.

More In: Mangalore