Staff Correspondent

Dust thrown up by lorries has ruined crops on over 100 acres

  • Farmers yet to get Rs. 3,000 per acre from mine owners
  • Several lorries stranded on the Hospet bypass

    HOSPET: Traffic came to a standstill on National Highway 63 between Toranagal and Hospet for the second day on Tuesday following a dharna being staged by farmers on the Hospet bypass road demanding compensation for the loss of crops.

    Several farmers, who cultivate land along the bypass, under the banner of the Raitha Horata Samiti and supported by the Hospet-based Jagrut Nayak Balaga, have decided to continue their agitation for an indefinite period until their demands for compensation and asphalting of roads are met.

    The farmers said dust thrown up by lorries had ruined crops on over 100 acres of land. When officials were approached, a meeting of officials, farmers and mine owners was held two years ago. It was agreed that mine owners should pay compensation of Rs. 3,000 per acre every year. But the farmers had not got any payment so far.

    As a result of the agitation, several lorries carrying iron ore, hot rolled coils from Jindal Steels, and other goods were stranded on either side of the bypass.

    The drivers and cleaners face the brunt as there is no alternative route and they are unable to get food and drinking water. According to Kashappa, a driver heading towards Hubli, they had to walk a couple of kilometres in the scorching sun to get something to eat. Efforts by officials to persuade the farmers to withdraw the stir have been in vain.