They had given up land for the Kabini drinking water project

The former Mayor Sandesh Swamy has threatened to stage a protest if compensation is not paid to farmers who ceded their land for the Kabini drinking water project.

Speaking to presspersons here on Wednesday, Mr. Swamy demanded that Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa direct the Revenue Department to pay the compensation in 15 days. If this did not happen, all 65 councillors of the Mysore City Corporation (MCC), irrespective of their political affiliation, would take part in the protest, he said.

The Rs. 108-crore drinking water project for the city is being implemented under the Centre's Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Course of events

Mr. Swamy said the MCC released Rs. 1.48 crore to the Revenue Department in August last so that it could pay compensation to six farmers for their 6.2 acres which was acquired for the project.

The farmers had agreed to give up their land following an oral assurance that Rs. 23 lakh would be paid for an acre of irrigated land and Rs. 18 lakh for an acre of dry land. The quantum of compensation had been fixed in the presence of the then district in-charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje and the then Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan.

However, the Revenue Department later objected to this, claiming the amount was higher than the land value prescribed by the sub-registrar.

Now, farmers had locked up the buildings at the project site, halting work for the last 10 days. This was the third time that the work had been stopped by farmers demanding compensation, Mr. Swamy said.

Minister in charge of Mysore district S.A. Ramdas recently assured the farmers that compensation would be paid in 10 days, and that deadline ended on May 29. Project work of up to Rs. 60 crore had been completed.

Criticised

Mr. Swamy alleged that efforts were on to release 3.5 km of land in the Hongalli-Belagola-Melapura area on the outskirts of the city to facilitate water pipelines for a couple of industries in that area. The region already had two water pipelines of the MCC, he said, and demanded that permission for the pipelines be scrapped.

There was “mischief” in the deal, as it was not brought to the notice of the MCC, he alleged. The corporation would be short of land if such requests by industries were considered.

Besides, as per the Chief Minister's directive, the land concerned would come under the Bruhat Mysore Mahanagara Palike in the future, he added.

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