Farmers’ agitation at Kochanahalli completes a month

who are on an agitation seeking compensation for land acquired from them after being promised jobs, has completed a month.

The crux of the issue revolves around nearly 400 acres of land acquired from the local villagers for a pittance more than 12 years ago after being promised jobs by private players whose intentions are now being questioned.

A ‘’heritage golf course’’ was planned and farmers of Kochanahalli were lured to part with their land at the rate of nearly ₹1.5 lakh per acre. This was after they were promised that they would not only get a monthly salary but their future needs would be met by way of contribution to the Provident Fund etc.

But not only did the golf course project did not take off but a portion of the land acquired from them was sold to Karnataka Industrial Area Development Authority (KIADB) for almost ₹40 lakh per acre. Meanwhile, the once land-holding farmers overnight turned into daily wagers devoid of both land and suitable compensation.

Though the issue was brought to the notice of successive governments, it has not yielded any result and the farmers have launched an indefinite agitation at the village which has completed 30 days.

Harish of Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) which is lending support to the ause said that the farmers are now cultivating on the same land they sold to the private players. But it lacks legal basis as the land is no longer in their names. Hence, no financial support is extended by banks nor do they get subsidy from the government.

Meanwhile, the local Tahsildar from Nanjangud visited the agitating farmers and told them that he would discuss the issue with the higher authorities. Mr. Harish said a joint meeting of the revenue officials, police and the KIADB has been sought to find out the best way possible to resolve the issue.

Efforts by KIADB to develop the land into an industrial site was foiled by the farmers sometime ago and this is expected to snowball into a major issue in the days ahead. Mr.H arish said the farmers have two demands and this includes an assurance that the people of Kochanahalli will be given first preference for employment by future industries coming up on those plot. Their second demand is to fix a suitable amount as compensation matching the prevailing market rate.

Nearly 70 to 80 farmers sit on a dharna daily in support of their demands which has not drawn the attention of the local MLA or the MP so far, according to SUCI.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:11:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farmers-agitation-at-kochanahalli-completes-a-month/article34386433.ece

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