Farmers, whose agricultural land is located on the banks of the river Krishna, have made it clear that they will offer their land for the irrigation project coming under the Krishna basin, only if they were paid higher compensation by the government.

They made this announcement during the meeting convened to elicit the opinion of farmers at the office of Krishna Bhagya Jal Nigam Limited (KBJNL) on Wednesday.

Some farmers accused the officials of starting the land-acquisition process even before the government issued a notice for building canals.

Farmers urged the government to first fix the maximum cost of land before going ahead with the acquisition.

Asserting that the farmers will not accept the unilateral decision on price fixing, they said that farmers should be taken into confidence before fixing the price. C. Anantaramu, Chief Engineer of the KBJNL, who heard the farmers, said 12,000 hectares of land was required only for building canals under phase-3 of the UKP.

Farmer support

Informing that some 500 hectares of land was immediately required to commence phase-3 of Mulawad lift irrigation project, Mr. Anantaramu said the project was impossible to implement without the support of farmers.

Stating that the Revenue Department had the authority to acquire land, the official said that he would bring the demands of farmers to the notice of the Minister and the officials concerned.

“As an officer of the KBJNL, I could only act as a link between you (farmers) and the officials”, he said.

The official said a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners of Bijapur and Bagalkot districts and the farmers would be soon convened to fix the price of the land.

He said the government had decided to complete the four-year project in just two years, thus, in order to achieve the target, the farmers should help the government in speedy acquisition of land.

“If the project is completed within the given time frame, it will only provide famers easy access to water”, he said and appealed the farmers to cooperate with the government.

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