Heavy rains that lashed Shiradi Ghat on Wednesday night left vast tracts of coffee estates at Donigal in Sakleshpur covered by heaps of soil.
The road construction company that had bagged the contract of the project to widen Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway (NH 75) had dumped hundreds of truckloads of soil along the road. As it rained heavily, the sand slipped down, damaging the crops. Hundreds of coffee plants grown on over 30 acres of plantations belonging to local residents have been lost.
The local residents staged a protest on Thursday and blamed the construction company and the negligence of the NHAI for the incident. They also stalled the traffic on the highway for some time. The protesters said if the construction company had taken enough care to let rainwater move further down by placing a pipe before dumping soil the incident would not have occurred. The government should compensate the loss suffered by the local farmers, they demanded.
Sakleshpur tahsildar Jai Kumar, who visited the spot, said heaps of soil moved for about 2.5 km covering agricultural land. “The land belongs to 12 farmers in Donigal and Devihalli. I have brought the issue to the notice of senior officers. I will submit a report soon”, he said.
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