Karnataka

Yettinahole: Nod likely for enhancing compensation for Koratagere farmers

A file photo of Yettinahole project site at Konehalli in Tiptur taluk of Tumakuru district. Here too farmers had demanded, among other things, better compensation for the land acquired for the protect.

A file photo of Yettinahole project site at Konehalli in Tiptur taluk of Tumakuru district. Here too farmers had demanded, among other things, better compensation for the land acquired for the protect.  

They have been demanding compensation on a par with that fixed for land-losers in Doddaballapur taluk; issue expected to figure in Cabinet meeting

After facing the ire of farmers over compensation paid to acquire land to build a reservoir at Koratagere in Tumakuru district as part of Yettinahole project, the State government is likely to enhance the amount, treating it as a “special case” to enable quick completion of the work.

While about 5,000 acres — around 2,500 acres each in Koratagere taluk and neighbouring Doddaballapur taluk — are expected to be submerged after the completion of the ₹500-crore reservoir at Bhairagondlu, farmers in Koratagere had refused to part their land since they considered the compensation meagre.

The difference

They had a reason too: if Doddaballapur farmer would get ₹32 lakh an acre as compensation, why were the farmers in Koratagere getting ₹8 lakh?

A top official in the Irrigation Department said a proposal had been placed before the Cabinet to enhance the compensation for Koratagere farmers as a “one-time special consideration”, which would be on a par with that fixed for Doddaballapur farmers. The quantum of compensation is expected to raise from about ₹1,000 crore to about ₹1,600 crore.

“The Revenue Department, Visvesvaraya Neeravari Nigam Ltd. board and the Cabinet sub-committee have all agreed to enhance the compensation. We have put up a Cabinet note for the same, which, if accorded, will help speed up the project,” the official said. “Though the tender for construction of the reservoir has been completed, the work could not take off owing to land acquisition issues,” the official said, and added that re-estimation for cost overruns owing to delay was yet to be made.

A file photo of Yettinahole project site at Konehalli in Tiptur taluk of Tumakuru district. Here too farmers had demanded, among other things, better compensation for the land acquired for the protect.

A file photo of Yettinahole project site at Konehalli in Tiptur taluk of Tumakuru district. Here too farmers had demanded, among other things, better compensation for the land acquired for the protect.  

The 5.7-tmcft capacity reservoir is part of the ambitious ₹13,000-crore Yettinahole project that seeks to tap about 25 tmcft of water from the Yettinahole, a tributary of the west-flowing Netravati in the Western Ghats, during the monsoon months and divert it to the parched districts of Kolar, Chickballapur, Tumakuru, and Bengaluru Rural.

Explaining the reasons for different compensation structure, the official said according to the resettlement and rehabilitation package, a farmer would get four times of the prevailing guidance value in the area. If the guidance value in the area where land is to be acquired in Doddaballapur is ₹8 lakh an acre, it is ₹2 lakh an acre in Koratagere.

“The farmers in Koratagere have been asking for a unified rate. There have been three meetings, all of which ended with farmers demanding parity, otherwise which they refused to part with their land,” the official said.

Seven villages

Of the seven villages that will be affected in Koratagere taluk, Sunkandahalli, Belladahalli, Gejjemelahalli, Lakmuthunahalli, and Veerasagara will be submerged completely. Though a majority of farmers have agreed to shift to other places as part of resettlement and rehabilitation package, some have refused to leave.

K. Siddarajau, Koratagere taluk president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, said the farmers were seeking uniformity in compensation as the land in question was contiguous. “We are demanding equal money.”

(With inputs from S. Bhuvaneshwari in Tumakuru)

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:15:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yettinahole-nod-likely-for-enhancing-compensation-for-koratagere-farmers/article30333090.ece

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