Demands proper compensation for land acquired for power grid
The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) plans to stage a dharna here on Saturday to draw the attention of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on the “injustice” done to farmers while acquiring land for a proposed power grid.
The Chief Minister is expected to be in town on Saturday to hand over houses to the flood-affected people, under the Aasare scheme.
Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Chamarasa Malipatil, vice-president of the sangha's State unit, said the Centre had identified 92 acres of agricultural land at Askihal village, near Raichur, to establish a power grid (765-kV substation). There was no objection from the farmers for the grid, but the State Government, which took up the responsibility of providing the land, had not been fair to them, he said.
The district administration, he said, had acquired 449.21 acres from 19 farmers by paying a compensation of Rs. 13 lakh an acre. It needed another 35.35 acres , but for it the administration fixed compensation at only Rs. 1.58 lakh an acre. Even though farmers refused to part with their land for this price, the district administration, recently, “completed” the acquisition process and had prepared to take over the land forcibly.
The landowners moved the Circuit Bench of the Karnataka High Court in Gulbarga, seeking justice. However, the court directed the petitioners to settle their dispute at the Lok Adalat if they wanted compensation of more than Rs. 13 lakh an acre.
Mr. Malipatil said that the KRRS had earlier discussed the issue with Mr. Yeddyurappa. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Secretary, Women and Child Development and Raichur district in-charge, had been directed to look into the matter, but there had been no response.
Instead, the district administration recently declared it had completed the procedures in land acquisition even though the farmers had not received any compensation or signed any agreement to sell their land, he said.
He warned that the sangha would not allow the Government to acquire the land in Raichur until justice was done to farmers. It would not allow any official to reach the land until the Government released compensation that had been sought, he added