KARNATAKA

Land acquisition: villagers cry foul

Staff Reporter

Samiti questions KIADB's unseemly hurry

KIADB is seeking to acquire 1,060 acres of land in eight villages Preliminary notification was issued on January 9

BANGALORE: Agriculture landowners of eight villages in Bangalore Urban and Rural Districts are crying foul over the acquisition process initiated by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for a manufacturing cluster to produce spare parts for the aviation industry at Devanahalli.

Though a preliminary notification was issued on January 9, the villagers in the affected areas said that they were informed through a public notification issued by the KIADB in a Kannada daily on February 7.

Objections

The notification asked the landowners to file objections, if any, to the proposed acquisition starting from February 13 till Saturday afternoon, leaving them with very little time to consult legal experts. Some landowners even received individual notices served on them on February 10.

The KIADB is seeking to acquire 1,060 acres of land in Bettakote, Junnahalli, Kavadadasanahalli, Bhatramarenahalli and Baladimmanahalli villages in Chennarayapatna hobli in Devanahalli taluk of Bangalore Rural and Dummanahalli, Singahalli and Unasuru villages in Jala hobli of Yelahanka taluk in Bangalore Urban district, all within a one-km radius of the proposed Devanahalli International Airport.

D.S. Gowda, convener, Raitha Horata Samiti, sees a conspiracy in the unseemly hurry by the KIADB in that it knew it would face a barrage of objections from the farmers. He told The Hindu : "Since the villagers chased away KIADB officials from Bandikodigehalli, B.K. Palya, Singahalli and other places when they came for survey work recently, the KIADB does not want to take any chances this time."

The irony, he said, was that villagers would not have filed objections as most were not even aware of the acquisition process. The members of Raitha Horata Samithi fanned out in all the villages that would be affected and advised them on the procedures to be adopted while filing objections.

When the KIADB issued notification to acquire land for hardware park in the vicinity and for other industrial purposes, it had given a month's notice for the landowners to file written objections.

This, Mr. Gowda said, had allowed the farmers time to consult legal experts.

When The Hindu spoke to Ramachandra Murthy, Special Acquisition Officer of KIADB, he said the preliminary acquisition had been notified in the gazette on January 9. In case any farmer sought more time for filing objection after providing valid reasons, some more time would be granted.