Farmers oppose land acquisition for Kitex garments unit

Farmers say government paid them only ₹10 lakh per acre while the market price is ₹50 lakh per acre

March 05, 2023 09:32 pm | Updated 09:32 pm IST - Hyderabad

Farmers of Shayampet Haveli in Geesugonda mandal of Warangal district in Telangana are resisting acquisition of their agricultural lands for the expansion of children’s garments manufacturing unit of Kitex, the apparel major from Kerala.

The Kitex project was one of the two units which commenced work on the 1,200 acres allotted by the State government for the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park spread over Geesugonda and Sangem mandals. Kitex was allotted 187 acres, but the company requested the government to sanction another 13.29 acres to realign its compound wall to make it Vastu compliant. Otherwise, the alignment of the wall crisscrossed patta lands of farmers in its present form.

In response to the request of the company, a team of Revenue officials tried to survey the lands on Saturday but they met stiff resistance from farmers who were aggrieved that the government did not concede the agreement already entered into with them five years ago when their holdings were sought to be acquired for the park.

The farmers claimed that the government paid them a compensation of only ₹ 10 lakh per acre while the market price was ₹ 50 lakh per acre. Also, there was no response from the government to the agreement to allot 100 sqyds per acre surrendered, for house sites and a job in the park for each family. Moreover, the farmers were sore that the government was taking from them their fertile lands which were fit for cultivation of three crops a year with good irrigation facility.

Yet, the government served notices on them to give up 13.29 acres required by the company but the Revenue team had to return without surveying them in the face of stiff opposition from assignees and patta holders six months ago. Besides patta lands at ₹ 10 lakh an acre, the government resumed lands from poor assignees also offering them ₹ 7 lakh per acre in the earlier allotment to the company.

In anticipation of trouble again, the Revenue team on Saturday completed the survey with the help of police reinforcements. As expected, farmers confronted surveyors and police while women who carried pesticide boxes threatened to commit suicide. They were shifted to police station to pave way for completion of survey.

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