They harbour no resentment to land acquisition for cement plant

Farmers in Ferozabad-Honnakiranagi and Somanathahalli, on the outskirts of the city, who will be losing their land for a mega cement plant to be set up by Gulbarga Cements, have urged the State government to fix Rs. 45 lakh an acre as the price for their land.

Submitting their appeal during a public hearing, chaired by Deputy Commissioner N.S. Prasanna Kumar here on Thursday, the farmers and advocates representing them said that agricultural land to be acquired by Gulbarga Cements was very fertile and the only means of livelihood for farmers.

Taking away their land would deprive them of their livelihood and therefore, the government should ensure that adequate compensation was paid to land-owners. Senior advocate Subash Konin, Mashaq Patil, Moinuddin and farmer Siddaramaiah said that apart from paying Rs. 45 lakh an acre, the government should ensure that the members of land-losing families were given jobs in the factory.

The factory should also take up community development programmes, including construction of roads, establishing hospitals and creating drinking water facilities in and around the village, where the factory would be set up.

The factory had proposed to acquire 1,900.2 acres of land, adjacent to the land already acquired for establishing a thermal power plant, a couple of years ago.

However, none of the farmers or their representatives expressed resentment for opposed the proposal to acquire their land.

Their only concern appeared to be about getting a high rate of compensation. Earlier, the government had bought more than 1,000 acres for setting up a thermal power plant at Rs. 9 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh an acre, about two years ago.

Mr. Kumar said that the land rate would be fixed and announced within three weeks.

The rate of land would vary, in accordance with their location.

The rate for land lying adjacent to the National Highway 218 that connects Humnabad with Jewargi would be different from the one to be fixed for lands about 15 meters or more away from highway, Mr. Kumar said.

Director of Gulbarga Cements Ramesh, who was present, assured the farmers that community development projects would be taken up in and around the village where the cement factory would be set up and employment provided to members of land-losing families.

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