More than 1,000 persons from over 300 affected families participated in a public meeting organised by Kaigarika Valaya Mukta Horata Janajagriti Samiti (KVMHJS) to protest against the setting up of an industrial area on 269 acres of land in Yembattu-Badagabettu village near Udupi on Sunday.

Kudi Srinivas Bhat, General Secretary of the Udupi Zilla Krishik Sangha, said the affected families had been left with no alternative but to fight and save their land. Systematic efforts were on to derail the agitation of the affected families to save their land. People should not get taken in by the verbal assurances of politicians and officials.

It was the very same politicians who had given verbal assurances that no thermal power plant would be set up at Yellur village near Padubidri in Udupi district. In the end, the thermal plant was set up and several families had lost their fertile agricultural land. “The Samiti should carry on its agitation against the KAIDB and the government”, Mr. Bhat said.

Prabhakar Shetty, president of the Samiti, said ever since the set up industrial area was announced three months ago, the Samiti had submitted several memorandums to elected representatives and officials. But none of them had given any concrete assurance on the issue. The Samiti would carry on its fight in a legal manner, he said.

Srinivas Upadhyaya Managing Trustee of Parkala Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapati Temple said the 269 acres of land identified by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for setting up an industrial area was fertile agricultural land. The affected families had been living on these plots of land and pursuing agriculture for generations.

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