Demanding modification in the proposed Shimoga-Harihar railway project, farmers from Shimoga and Honnali taluks staged a protest here on Monday under the aegis of Jana Shakti-Janapara Horata Vedike.
It has been planned to lay a railway line to connect Shimoga with Harihar through Holalur and Honnali for which fertile irrigated land would be acquired. The Department of Railway has also conducted a survey for the project. Farmers have already lost their land for the high-tension power line, right and left bank canals of Tunga reservoir, and for widening the road between Shimoga and Honnali. The proposed railway project would subject the farmers here to another round of displacement, the protesters said.
It was an unwise decision to acquire fertile irrigated land for the railway project. Food production in the region would also come down if the project was implemented. Protesters apprehended that the embankment which would be constructed for the railway line would divide agricultural land making it difficult for farmers to move from one stretch to another.
Protesters demanded for modification in the project and suggested to take the railway line through Kotegangur, Sominakoppa, Basavanagangur, Hunasodu, Kommanalu, Beeranakere, and Suttukote in Shimoga taluk and through Kogonahalli, Vaderattur, Ganganakote, Basavanahalli, and Didagur villages in Honnali taluk.
As the land in the alternative route was not irrigated, the compensation which the Department of Railway has to pay to farmers would also come down, the protesters said.
The farmers moved in a protest march from the zilla panchayat office to the Deputy Commissioner's office. H.C. Basavarajappa, the former president of zilla panchayat, M.S. Mahendranath, Rajappa, and Praveen H.M. participated in the protest.