Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader K.B. Shanappa, MP, has come out in support of farmers in Andola hobli of Jewargi taluk in Gulbarga district who are opposing the acquisition of agricultural land for a cement factory.

The Government should adhere to its policy of not acquiring fertile land for industries, he told presspersons here on Monday. “I am not opposed to industries coming up in backward districts, but they should be set up on barren and fallow land and not on fertile land,” he said.

Farmers in the region said the Government proposes to acquire more than 4,000 acres of land for a cement factory. Mr. Shanappa said that much of the land proposed to be acquired in Andola and Naribol villages was in the command area of the Mudbol branch canal of the Upper Krishna Project. “The other lands that will be acquired are slated to be included in the command areas of future irrigation projects,” he added.

He said farmers should resist moves to acquire fertile land. “Fertile land in Sedam and Chitapur taluks has already been acquired by cement companies for their units. If more fertile land is acquired, it will have a serious impact on agriculture in the district”. Farmers of Andola hobli, whose land is slated to be acquired for the cement plant, have announced a one-day dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner's office in the city on November 10.