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‘I want my land back, not compensation’

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PLEADING: Gopi Poojarti bemoaning her plight after her family was evicted from their house at Kemundele village in Udupi district on Friday.
PLEADING: Gopi Poojarti bemoaning her plight after her family was evicted from their house at Kemundele village in Udupi district on Friday.

Staff Correspondent

Authorities evict last two families from project site at Yellur in Udupi district

Evicted families claim no notices were served

on them

Officials say seven notices were served on

the two families

Yellur (Udupi district): “I want my land back. What will happen to my two cows, 10 calves and three dogs? I don’t want any compensation. I have been cultivating the land and have grown trees there for 30 years,” said Gopi Poojarti (57), a woman who lost her husband sometime ago and is a heart patient. She was one of those evicted from the 1,015-MW coal-based power project site of Udupi Power Corporation Ltd here on Friday.

The families of Ms. Poojarti and Somayya Mulya were evicted by the authorities on Friday morning. Both the houses were within the fenced area of the project site.

Ms. Poojarti lived there with her son Madhusudhan, two daughters Nagaratna and Ambika, and two grandsons Anudeep and Anuraj. Ms. Poojarti told The Hindu that the authorities came to her house around 8.30 a.m. and told her that she would be evicted and the house demolished. Her house was surrounded by policemen and women constables.

“I pleaded them not to do so. I I have grown 250 coconut trees and 25 mango trees on my land. I never anticipated such an action as the matter was in court,” said Ms. Poojarti.

Mr. Mulya (73) was living in a house at the project with his wife, three sons, three daughters, and four grandchildren. “I had four acres and 10 cents of land. At this age, I and my family have been thrown on the streets. They have not given us any notice,” he said.

His son Ganesh Mulya said that the police would not allow them to talk to the Assistant Commissioner. In-charge Deputy Commissioner Prasanna Kumar said that there was no stay order from any court for land acquisition within the project site. “Everything is being done according to the law,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner K.N. Ramesh said that arrangements had been made to shift Ms. Poojarti’s family to a house at Santhur village and Mr. Mulya’s family to Padebettu village. The families would be given a year’s rent allowance (during their stay at Santhur and Padebettu). They had been given sites at the rehabilitation colony at Tenka Yermal village, he said.

They were being given Rs. 10,000 as expenses for shifting and a month’s ration items such as rice, oil and others. All this was in addition to the compensation for their land. “Seven notices have been served on them. The process of acquisition is being done by the officials of the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB). We are here to ensure that no untoward incidents occurred. We too are concerned about the families,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Presspersons were not allowed to enter the project site.

The Udupi District Police said that besides Ms. Poojarti and Mr. Mulya, the authorities had evicted Deju Shetty and Jayant Bhat from the project site at Yellur on Friday.

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