Farmers want Rs 5 crore per acre for PRR land

Farmers chop the vegetables for preparing lunch during the protest continues in front of BDA head office against the delay in the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project on in Bengaluru on Wednesday March 13th 2019.  (Credit: DH)

Farmers losing land to the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project want a minimum of Rs 5 crore per acre, vowing not to allow any survey if their demand is not accepted.

Farmers associated with the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and Hasiru Sene have placed a slew of demands before the authorities and protested the government’s “illegal” methods to contain the land prices.

KRRS district president Raghu N said the government had failed to address the farmers’ demands for the past 15 years only to ensure that the land prices do not appreciate in the villages affected by the PRR.

“Now, they are trying to break the farmers’ unity by splitting the projects into three phases, which means they’d release money for one group of farmers by convincing them to accept a lower value for their land,” Raghu said, vowing not to leave a single farmer behind.

The Bangalore Development Authority cited a paucity of funds for taking up the end of the project around NICE Road in three phases. In September, the state cabinet cleared the revised cost of Rs 11,950 crore for the PRR. About 1,850 acres need to be acquired for the project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Govindaraju, who lives in Madanayakanahalli and is commonly known among local farmers as Gopi, said officials “conspired” to ensure farmers did not get fair compensation. He pointed to a 2016 letter by the then BDA commissioner to the revenue department not to increase the guidance value in 67 villages impacted by the PRR.

“Farmers in these villages have been living in a state of distress and confusion for the past 15 years. They could not utilise their own land all these years. Now, they are trying their best to make sure we are not paid the proper price,” he said.

KRRS and Hasiru Sene have also demanded an additional Rs 2 crore, besides the land value, for the small and marginal farmers, who lose their entire holdings.

BDA commissioner G C Prakash did not respond to calls and messages from DH.

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