Chromium mining threatens to wipe out village in Kadur

mineral rich: The hullubandi (gomala) at Sanklapura village in Kadur taluk where chromium deposits are said to be found. DH Photos

This is not all, middlemen are already ‘trapping’ unsuspecting villagers by getting their signatures on agreement papers to part with their land for mining purposes.

One such agreement is in the name of Nazima, wife of Khalandar Saab at Anwar Colony of Choulihiriyur hobli. The agreement reads: “The land bearing survey No 34 measuring one gunta is in my possession and I have agreed to give it on contract to JSW Steel Limited (Toranagallu, Bellary). The truth is Nazima did not even know that such an agreement had been prepared in her name.

When the villagers were asked about this, a majority of them said, “The mining work is going on in our village and they are destroying the environment. There will be nothing left in a short time from now. The government is in their (miners’) favour.”

Files in CM’s office

Kadur Legislator Dr Y C Vishwanath in a letter dated March 22 to the Chief Minister said: “In Sanklapura village survey No 34 on 16 acres of land, Hospet’s Jindal company has decided to start mining. It is learnt that this proposal has come to your office. Give proper directions to the officers concerned not to sanction this project.”

Meanwhile, the villagers have reached Khanija Bhavan in Bangalore to find out about their village’s future and the status of the proposal.

The officials there said that they had returned the file to the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC’s) office.

The village elder Parameshwarappa who returned from Bangalore met DC Chennappa Gowda immediately, who assured him that he would try to protect the interests of the village.

However, Parameshwarappa said that if the chief minister’s office were to issue a direction for mining, then even the DC would become helpless.

Gowda said he had made it clear to them that the government land would not be given for mining. But the private land owners should protect their own lands.

They should not fall prey to the machinations of middlemen and sign on the agreement papers.

If middlemen force the people to sign the agreement papers, such an act is liable for punishment. If information is given about such persons, action will be taken, he assured.

The reality however, is that the mine owners are going about their job by getting lands through middlemen and lobbying to get the related files moving in the government. All this has made villagers very anxious about their future.

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