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Thermal plant hits roadblock as farmers oppose land acquisition

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OPPOSITION: Former Union Minister Babagouda Patil and other farmer leaders meeting with the villagers of Honnakiranagi, Ferozabad and Nadisinnur in Gulbarga taluk in connection with land acquisition for a thermal plant at Ferozabad.
OPPOSITION: Former Union Minister Babagouda Patil and other farmer leaders meeting with the villagers of Honnakiranagi, Ferozabad and Nadisinnur in Gulbarga taluk in connection with land acquisition for a thermal plant at Ferozabad.

Special Correspondent

Delegation of farmer leaders inspects spot; talks to farmers

‘Lives of farmers will be ruined if land is taken away’

‘1,506 acres of identified agricultural land is fertile’

GULBARGA: The proposed 1,320-MW super-critical thermal power plant at Ferozabad in Gulbarga taluk has hit a major roadblock with farmers refusing to part with their lands for the establishment of the thermal plant in the private sector and threatening to launch an agitation if the Government forcibly takes over their land.

Leaders of farmers organisations, including president of the Confederation of Indian Farmers Associations (CIFA) Basavaraj Tambakki, former Union Minister and senior farmer leader Babagouda Patil, district Raitha Horata Samiti president Kedarlingaiah Hiremath, former Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council and convener of the Raitha Chinthana Vedike B.R. Patil, have expressed support to the farmers.

These leaders visited Ferozabad, Honnakiranagi and Nadisinnur villages on Sunday and inspected the spot where the proposed thermal plant is to be established in the private sector.

They held detailed discussions with those likely to lose their land.

Sharanu Konin, a farmer, who would lose all his 25 acres of land in Honnakiranagi, told the delegation of farmer leaders, led by Mr. Babagouda Patil, that 1,506 acres of land identified by the Government for acquisition was fertile agriculture land.

Another farmer, Shivasharanappa, who would lose 15 acres of land in Nadisinnur village, said that irrespective of the compensation the Government paid for the land, the lives of farmers of these three villages would be ruined if the Government went ahead with acquisition.

Expressing concern over the attempt to forcibly acquire land for the thermal plant, Mr. Babagouda Patil said that farmers should resist all attempts to acquire land. He said he would take part in the agitation against any forcible acquisition of land.

Mr. Tambakki said that in the first phase, farmers would take out a padayatra from Ferozabad to the Deputy Commissioner’s office covering 20 km, on Tuesday and stage a protest there against the decision to acquire land.

Along with Mr. Tambakki, other leaders including Mr. B.R. Patil and Mr. Kedarlingaiah Hiremath, would participate in the padayatra.

Mr. Patil asked farmers to put up black flags all along the road from Gulbarga city to Ferozabad and also banners opposing the acquisition of land. The State Government had identified the land based on satellite images of topography of the proposed site, availability of water and rail link for coal transport to the plant and its accessibility to Gulbarga city and other major cities through the national highway connecting Gulbarga and Jewargi.

A railway link is proposed to be created from the proposed site to either Shahabad or Gulabrga railway stations for supply of coal.

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