Farmers to protest today over PRR delay

Farmers to protest today over PRR delay

Over 3,000 farmers will gather at the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) head office on Tuesday in protest against the government over the delay in the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project.

The farmers, who have lost land to the ambitious project, said they are not against the PRR. Instead, they want the project to start so that they can get proper compensation and move on with their lives.

Raghu, a farmer participating in the protest, said: “We were given notice for land acquisition in 2005. But to this day, nothing has happened. We can use the soil for cultivation, but cannot dig borewells. We cannot mortgage the property for a loan or seek help from financiers as our land has been marked for the project.”

Most of them have to get their daughters married, support the education of their children or meet the medical expenses of ailing family members.

“In the last 10 years, the government has only conducted meetings. In the last two years, the BDA has not even called for any meeting. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who claims to be a pro-farmer CM, has also done nothing. In the name of loan waiver, he has neglected us, as our land is listed to be acquired for development,” said another farmer.

Due to the uncalled-for delay, farmers have now agreed to part with their land for cash compensation as decided under the land acquisition bill of 2012. They are not interested in the 40:60 land-sharing scheme.

“We have seen what happened in the case of Arkavathy Layout. Those who lost land are still suffering. If the land costs around Rs 10 crore, we demand that the government give us Rs 5 crore immediately and put the remaining in banks, so that we can at least earn interest from it,” Raghu said.

Many farmers said they are now making a living by selling vegetables and doing odd jobs in the city, as part of their land is infertile and they have no money for labour.

The BDA is said to acquire 1,800 acres of land from around 4,000 people.