Farmers oppose Chennai-Bengaluru express road project

Organising meetings to evolve opinion against “unscientific project” and land acquisition process

September 02, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 28, 2016 02:48 pm IST - Kolar:

The ambitious Bengaluru-Chennai Industrial Corridor Express Road has already hit a hurdle with farmers in Kolar joining hands to take the legal route against the project.

The newly-formed Federation of Farmers against Bengaluru-Chennai Industrial Corridor Road has been organising meetings to evolve opinion against the “unscientific project” and the land acquisition behind it.

In July, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials were spotted in the area for a survey in Kolar and Bengaluru Rural district, while compensation has been announced in notifications.

K.N. Prasanna, president, Doddakari Gram Panchayat, Bangarpet, says: “Going by a notification by NHAI, I will lose 30 guntas. My brother, Jayasimha, is likely to lose six acres, both in Doddakari village in Betamangala hobli of Bangarpet taluk. The NHAI rejected our objections merely by saying that the acquisition is in public interest.”

Harikumar, farmer, Betamangala, says: “Though we get compensation for the land acquired, it is not a long-term solution.” He believed that toiling in the farmland despite a severe water shortage is a more sustainable option.

Apart from compensation, there is a fear that the areas acquired will be used for non-industrial purposes. “There is a chance that the land acquired will given to real estate agents,” says K. Srinivasa Gowda, activist, Rajya Raitha Sangha. M. Shivaprakash, advocate, Karnataka High Court, said that the groundwork had been prepared to take up the issue of acquisition with the court and the National Green Tribunal – for the proposed corridor passes close to protected forest areas.

“Besides, fertile farmland, forest areas and the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary andGolden Elephant Corridor fall under the project area posing danger to the wildlife,” he said.

He believed that the creation of the new corridor was unnecessary as national highway 75 already provided good connectivity to Chennai.

“The existing highway could be upgraded to six or eight lanes. Moreover, a proposed bullet train will be a better option,” says Mr. Shivaprakash, who is participating in the meetings of farmers in the district.

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