KARNATAKA

Ban sought on conversion of farmland for commercial uses



Staff Correspondent

ArgumentsPaddy fields help in water retentionEstablishment of resorts will change local economy

Madikeri: The former Minister and leader of the Kodagu Janata Dal, M.C. Nanaiah, on Friday warned against the introduction of "resort culture" in Kodagu district at the cost of agricultural land.

Mr. Nanaiah told presspersons that the district administration should exercise vigil and not allow conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes in Kodagu. Land mafia was active in the State, including Kodagu, he said. Agricultural land must not be made over for commercial ventures, except for house sites, Mr. Nanaiah said.

Fall in water-table

Paddy fields helped in water retention, and construction of buildings on them would lead to a fall in the water-table, Mr. Nanaiah warned.

`Pressure Government'

Elected representatives hailing from Kodagu should take note of the seriousness of the issue and impress upon the Government to ban conversion of agricultural land for commercial ventures, he said.

Entry of land developers from outside and establishment of resorts could spoil the local culture, which, in turn, could lead to social inequality and other related problems, Mr. Nanaiah pointed out.

Meagre allocation

He criticised the State Government for releasing just Rs. 1 crore as against the Rs. 22-crore proposal sent to it by the Kodagu district administration to take up calamity relief works in the current year. Kodagu district had been battered by the monsoon, he said.

Shantu Appaiah, M.P. Muthappa, B.A. Ganapathi, K.P. Nagaraj, M.M. Liyaqat Ali and S.I. Muneer Ahmad, local leaders of the Kodagu Janata Dal, were present.

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