Agro industries to replace steel plant project

Mundaragi farmers to consider government plan to acquire land

The backward taluk hit the headlines a month ago when the government had initiated the land acquisition process to set up steel industries.

But the move was abandoned following protests by farmers and religious heads.

The additional secretary to the State agriculture department G K Vasanthkumar has written to the district agriculture joint director Chandrashekhar asking him to do a spot inspection of land identified by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) to find whether it is suitable for setting up agro and food processing industries.

A total of 3,807 acres and 29 guntas in the taluk - including 1,588 acres and 11 guntas in Jantli-Shirur, 1,502 acres and 31 guntas in Pethalur and 716 acres and 27 guntas in Mevundi - have been identified for acquisition.

An amount of Rs 10 lakh has been fixed temporarily per acre of land. A preliminary notification had been issued for the purpose last year itself.

The joint director has been asked to ascertain the suitability of the land identified under Suvarna Karnataka Industrial Corridor and Land Bank scheme by the KIADB is for setting up industries.

The direction comes in the backdrop of the Global Agriculture Investors meet planned by the government.

He has also been asked to find out whether there are objections by farmers to the acquisition of land, after a spot visit along with KIADB officials and the deputy director of the horticulture department.

Confusion over letter

However, there is confusion about the letter among the district administration and the joint director. Rules stipulate that government letters should reach department officials only through the district administration.

Hence, the letter being dispatched directly to the joint director has raised eyebrows. Deputy Commissioner (DC) S Shankaranarayana told Deccan Herald that since the letter had not reached him, he had no information on land acquisition.

On the other hand, the joint director confirmed receiving the letter and said he would discuss the matter with the DC.

Meanwhile, Annadanishwara Swami of Mundaragi said they had no objection to set up industries that did no damage to agriculture and environment.

More than 50 farmers held a meeting at Jantli-Shirur on Wednesday evening and decided to hold discussions with farmers whose lands are likely to be acquired.

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