Land acquisition hits Tumkur-Rayadurga railway project

 Deputy Commissioner (DC) R K Raju held a meeting with farmers recently over the acquisition of land for the inter-state Tumkur-Rayadurga railway line.

The meeting was held to convince the farmers to part with their land as the final notification for the acquisition of land for the first 20 km of the line (Tumkur to Urukere) has already been issued.

The deputy commissioner told farmers at the beginning of the meeting that there was no scope for argument as the farmers were free to quote prices they had in mind. He met farmers from each village separately and gauged their opinions. In the first round, farmers from Veerasagar as also those from Amanikere, Dibbur and Honnenahalli, off National Highway-6 were called for the meeting.

A meeting with farmers from Urukere, Annenahalli, Kuchangi, Goripalya, Kuchangipalya and Hiregundagal will be held after the next notification for land acquisition is issued, it is said.

Farmers from Amanikere, Dibbur and Honnenahalli, off National Highway-6 demanded that they be given a compensation of Rs six lakh to seven lakh per gunta of land to be acquired for the project. The deputy commissioner said there were no issues to provide rates as per the guidance value. But he promised to try getting them rates more than the guidance value.

It may not be possible to provide rates sought by the farmers, he said and added that he would submit a proposal to the government based on their demands. The farmers said that one person from every family losing land should be given a job. Also, those losing more land should also be allotted government land in the vicinity of the railway line, they said.

Raju said that certificates would be issued to all those farmers’ families that part with their land. This would help them get jobs in Central government jobs reserved for those displaced due to projects.

Project details

The Tumkur-Rayadurga railway line was conceptualised in 2007 as a joint venture of the Central government and the state governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

A total of 102 km of the proposed 213-km railway line passes through Karnataka, while a length of 111 km is in Andhra Pradesh. Work has already picked up on a stretch of 40 km in the neighbouring state. Tracks are being laid between Rayadurga and Avuldald village and the land acquisition process has also been speeded up.

While the total project cost is Rs 1,027 crore, Karnataka’s share is Rs 239 crore. The State government has so far released Rs 40 crore for the project as its share in two instalments, but not a single rupee has been spent. A total of 680 acres of land will be acquired on the Karnataka side, between Tumkur and Pavagad, through Madhugiri. The land acquisition in the State is starting only now.

However, the process is expected to pick up pace with elections round the corner. It is said the foundation stone for the project is likely to be laid next month. Discussions have already been held with Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa in this regard. While some are demanding that the foundation stone laying ceremony be held in Tumkur, others insist that it should happen in Madhugiri.

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