Staff Correspondent

Agitation planned against ‘forcible’ land acquisition

Farmers of 30 villages to lose land for township project

MYSORE: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has decided to take up the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project issue to “safeguard” the interests of farmers.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the “Welfare committee of landowners under the BMIC project” at Srirangapatna on Wednesday. KRRS president K.S. Puttannaiah attended the meeting.

The president of the Mandya district unit of the KRRS, Nanjunde Gowda, said that the meeting resolved to meet the farmers of Bidadi, Channapatna and Ramanagara, who would lose over 13,200 acres of land for five townships to be developed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), and launch an agitation.

“While the land value per acre in the area is around Rs. 1 crore, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) is trying to issue notices to landowners for acquisition by awarding a mere Rs. 88,000 per acre. Under such circumstances, there is no alternative for the KRRS but to protest against the anti-farmer stand of the Government,” he said.

Executive president of the KRRS Kodihalli Chandrashekar said that farmers of 30 villages between Bangalore and Mysore, who would lose their land for the township project, held meetings and decided to launch an agitation against “forcible” land acquisition.

The issue would be discussed threadbare in the sangha’s State committee meeting to be held shortly, he added.

On whether the KRRS would support the Janata Dal (Secular), which had launched an agitation in support of farmers losing land for the project, Mr. Chandrashekar said that the KRRS would go it alone in the struggle for the cause of farmers.

However, the KRRS was ready to accept the support extended by parties. “We won’t go and seek their support and there is no question of supporting any political party,” he said.

Mr. Puttannaiah said that the process of gathering information on the project had begun.

The KRRS would not allow the Government to “exploit” farmers. “We have sought a White Paper on the issue,” he added.

Blaming the Janata Dal (S), Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the plight of farmers in the State, he alleged that though these parties promoted the project during their rule, they now blamed one another for the present crisis.

Referring to the former Prime Minister Deve Gowda’s role in the agitation launched by farmers, he alleged that the Janata Dal (S) Government, which had promised to provide a scientific price for farmers who lost over 120 acres of land at Channarayapatna in Hassan taluk for the milk powder unit, failed to fulfil it.

“Mr. Gowda has no moral right to speak on behalf of farmers,” he said.