KIADB violated HC order, say farmers

Better compensation demanded for land taken for steel plant

The KIADB is alleged to have violated the order of the High Court of Karnataka, asking it to call a meeting of farmers who have demanded that the compensation amount for the land acquired for the steel plant proposed to be set up by the Mittals at Kudathini in the taluk be raised.

The High Court had stayed the acquisition of land, following a plea by a group of 30 farmers from Kudathini on May 4.

The court vacated the stay on May 28 and ordered it to provide compensation to the farmers as per Section 29(3) of the KIADB Act.

But the KIADB - Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board - has failed to honour the court order and issued a notice calling a meeting of farmers on June 25 and 26, as per Section 9 and 10 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The farmers had opposed the compensation fixed by the Board - Rs 16 lakh per acre of non-agriculture land, Rs 12 lakh per acre of land within a radius of 500 metres from the national highway and Rs eight lakh beyond that. The farmers had opposed the rates.

Their argument was that farmers who gave up land for the airport coming up at Sirivara-Chaganur village of the taluk had been given a compensation of Rs 12 lakh to Rs 16 lakh per acre, while those whose land was acquired for the Hubli airport project had been paid Rs 26 lakh. However, in their case, KIADB had come up with three slabs of compensation, the High Court was told.

The agitation committee members, B Polappa, Nagadeva, Venkatesh, Sampath Kumar and others say that KIADB had also violated a Supreme Court directive that there should be no differential rates of compensation paid to farmers in a single village.

The farmers said that there was a rule stipulating that the land rates should be fixed taking into account the average land prices registered at the sub-registrar’s office in the three years prior to the notification for acquisition.

But the Board had violated the rule in Kudathini.  The farmers said that the Supreme
Court had, on April 27, ordered that the highest land rate registered in the office of the sub-registrar should be provided as compensation to the farmers. But the apex court direction has not been followed, the farmers said.

Comments (+)