Ryots stage rasta-roko over lands to NICE

Traffic thrown out of gear; hundreds of vehicles stranded on highway

Rasta-roko: Ryots protesting the acquisition of additional lands for NICE corridor project, in Mandya on Saturday. Dh photo

Staging a stir against the ongoing land acquisition for the completion of NICE project near Mandya, Maddur and Gejjalagere, the farmers said government was out to acquire lands without any rationale behind it.

The farmers staged a rasta-roko on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Ryots Sangha District Unit President Konasale Nagaraju said the government had failed to protect the interest of farmers and had turned a blind eye to their issues and problems.

“The government is indirectly encouraging vested interests to acquire the lands for their benefit,” he added. They warned of intensified protests if the value of the land was not revised and considered on par with the prevailing rates in the market, before fixing the compensation amount.

Suresh, Rakesh, Bellary Gowda, Hallegere Shivaram, Nagaraj, Mallesh and Marichannegowda and others took part in the protest.

In Maddur

Activists and farmers from Maddur area also joined the rasta-roko protest launched by Ryots Sangha, against the irrational acquisition of about 1,300 acre land by the government for the NICE project.

The protestors, urging for the revised rates of land, before the compensation amount is arrived at.  Traffic was thrown out of gear and hundreds of vehicles were stranded with the protestors taking over the Mysore- Bangalore highway for over half an hour.
Farmers and activists shouted slogans against the government on the occasion.

Addressing the protestors, Konasale Narasaraju said the government had already acquired 6,500 acre of land for the project and was looking at an additional 1,300 acre before the project reaches completion. Ryots Sangha condemns this in no uncertain terms, he said.

Cane money balance

Stating that the government had not even disbursed the balance amount after paying an advance  ` 1,800 per ton of sugar cane, and kept the decision of scientific support price for cane hanging in balance, Narasaraju said the authorities have to fix ` 2,500 per ton of sugar cane this year.

Else, the farmers will stay away from selling the cane to crushing units, he said.
Police Superintendant Kaushalendra Kumar, Dy S P Uttappa, CPI Prashath and PSI Mahesh pacified the protestors and cleared the highway for smooth passage of vehicles. Ryot leaders G A Shankar, K M Nanjundaiah, Venkatesh, Raju, Puttalingaiah, Honnalagayya and Kendegowda were present among the protestors.

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