Land losers set 30-day deadline

The meeting was conducted after several days, and therefore attracted a large number of farmers, who came with both hopes and curiosity. During the span of one hour, however, they lost their tempers and expressed dissatisfaction.

Also, even as the farmers wished to express their opinions on the demands, some of the farmer leaders decided on a 30-day notice period, warning the Deputy Commissioner and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that the matter should be solved within the time given.

Before some other farmers and leaders could react, Dr N Manjula, the Deputy Commissioner, requested for a month’s time for the NHAI to provide relief to farmers. “The matter will be brought to the notice of the Chief Minister too,” she said, closing the meeting.

The development only added to the disappointment of the farmers, who have been fighting for several years, but came to the meeting with hopes of finding a solution finally. Some farmers were adamant about getting relief, but without much success.
Yaluvahalli N Ramesh, local farmer leader, said as many as 29 protests had been organised so far, demanding relief for farmers who lost their land.

“With their hopes of getting relief dashed, some farmers in the district have also ended their lives. Expressing their woes to the NHAI too did not change anything,” he rued.
The leader alleged that the Authority came with excuses to deny relief every time it was confronted. “The officers have also approached the Judiciary objecting to greater amounts of relief money. Going to court has only created further problems for the farmers, who are already struggling financially,” he argued, and asked who would recompense the farmers for such expenditure.

Yaluvahalli Sonnegowda, who spoke on the occasion, said they have authentic documents to prove the NHAI is cheating farmers. “Barely a couple of farmers have been given relief money. The Authority, which is trying to separate the farmers, cannot be trusted at any cost,” he said.

When several farmers who attended the meeting persisted that a clear decision be taken on the matter of providing relief to farmers, Dr Manjula spoke to Kamble, the NHAI executive director, and informed of the matter. “Kamble will speak about the issue to the officers in New Delhi within this week. He will also clarify the matter within a month,” she said and told the farmers, “Let us meet the Chief Minister and Parliamentarians during the month and request for help.”

Farmer leaders B N Munikrishnappa, Bhaktarahalli Byregowda, NHAI project officer Gupta, sub-divisional officer Sathish Kumar and Tahsildar Bhaskar were present.

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