The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi (MES) has opposed the acquisition of fertile farmland by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) to facilitate the establishment of industrial units on the outskirts of the city.

The MES has also opposed a government move to acquire agricultural land for construction of a ring road for the city.

The Belgaum city-MES working president, Y.B. Chougula, the former MLA, B.I. Patil, the former Mayor, Shivaji Sunthakar, and the secretary of the unit, Manoj Pawashe, led a protest by taking out a procession from Rani Chennamma Circle to the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Wednesday.

Later, they submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner stating that industrial areas could be developed away from residential areas and on non-cultivable land.

The KIADB has expressed intentions to acquire cultivable land of farmers in Peeranwadi, Kuttalwadi, Balagamatti, Hunchanahatti, Navae and Majgaon villages for industrial purposes. This would render farmers landless and also throw agricultural labourers out of work, they said.

Recently, the KIADB officials served notices with three-month-old dates on some farmers asking them to lodge their complaints within three days. The district administration should take action against KIADB officials for “harassing” farmers.

Also, the Belgaum City Corporation is trying to grab valuable and fertile agricultural land in Halga-Bastwad, Vadgaon, Angol, Old Belgaum, Shahpur and adjoining areas for the proposed ring road.

The corporation could acquire non-cultivable or non-fertile land for road construction.

The price of land in these areas, particularly Halga-Bastwad, has gone up in the last one year following the construction of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in the locality falling on National Highway 4.

The MES has urged the administration to stop load-shedding in view of the annual SSLC, pre-university and degree courses examinations. It has also requested the administration to direct the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation to run additional bus services in the city as well as in rural areas so that students could reach their examination centres in time.

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