Minister urged to think about environmental impact of setting up industries

The efforts of district-in-charge Minister C.C. Patil to convince the head of Tontadarya Math Tontada Siddhalinga Swami and farmers who are opposing the land acquisition in Mundaragi taluk of Gadag district proved futile.

Mr. Patil's efforts to convince those opposing land acquisition for three industries in villages of Halligudi, Jantli-Shirur and Mevundi began with him meeting the head of Tontadarya Math in Gadag.

But the seer seemed unconvinced. The swami told the Minister to take into consideration the adverse environmental impact caused by big industries in these villages as well as Kappatagudda, which has been declared a protected medicinal plant forest.

The Minister told the seer they would meet him again with an expert team, which would explain the pros and cons of setting up industries in the district. Meanwhile, a remark by one of the farmers' leaders enraged the Minister, who left the venue in a huff.

Later, the Minister went to Halligudi village, where 3,382 acres of land has been notified for acquisition. He held a meeting in the village and asked the villagers to express their opinion about the land acquisition process.

While returning from the village, the Minister met social activist Medha Patkar and tried to convince her that there would be no forceful acquisition. Ms. Patkar wanted to know why they cannot opt for barren land to set up the industries.

More In: Karnataka | National