Malur farmers reject govt offer, refuse to give land for industries

Compensation fixed at Rs 40 lakh per acre at Jakkasandra

The farmers in Jakkasandra and the neighbouring villages in Malur taluk stood firm on Thursday in their rejection of the government offer as compensation for their land.

While the government has offered Rs 40 lakh an acre, the farmers in the villages have called it a pittance in comparison to the worth of their land. “The minimum the government should pay us is Rs one crore per acre. We will not sacrifice our land even for Rs 80 lakh,” they demanded.

The district administration organised a meeting at Ambedkar Bhavan on Thursday, to decide the rates for the land as part of the third phase of land acquisition for agricultural purposes in the taluk.

Listening to the complaints of the Malur farmers, Deputy Commissioner D S Vishwanath, who also presides over the panel to fix the rates for the land, explained that the farmers in Vemagal in Kolar taluk had been given Rs 30 lakh an acre in compensation. “Going by the same standard, and following the authorities given to the committee to fix the rates, the land at Jakkasandra has been valued at Rs 40 lakh an acre,” he added.

“The sub-registrar has said irrigated agricultural land is priced at Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh an acre. The directions of land acquisition also says the an acre could be given RS 8.76 lakh,” he said.

The farmers from Malur present at the meeting immediately challenged the deputy commissioner, saying the rate of Rs 40 lakh was by no means anywhere near the actual worth of their land. They demanded that the expectations of the farmers to be given at least Rs one crore an acre be brought to the notice of the government.

In reaction, Vishwanath assured the suggestions and complaints of the farmers, presented at the meeting, would be submitted unfailingly and verbatim to the government.

Land donation

The Deputy Commissioner told the farmers the government has also come up with a project to give 9,583 sq ft ready and developed land to farmers who would donate one acre land for industrial purposes. He also called upon farmers to make the best of this offer.

He, however, assured that the government was not pushing the farmers to give up their land. “In fact, if all farmers at the meeting disagree in unison to give their land, the decision would be conveyed to the government.”

Farmers who addressed the meeting complained that no factory had actually given jobs to relatives or family members of farmers who had given land for the second phase of industrial establishment.

Vishwanath said Honda Motors at Karinayakanahalli is carrying out recruitment to provide jobs to local residents immediately. “The company has taken the initiative following repeated protests by the local residents,” he requested.

It was decided in the meeting that the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) should take up the responsibility of providing employment to farmer who give land for industrial development. It should also function as a mediator between the industrialists and the village residents.

Former legislator A Nagaraj, farmer leader Manjunath Gowda, Ananda Reddy, Chennakeshava Reddy, A Ashwattha Reddy, Somanna, Muniyappa, Doddappaiah, Appegowda, Chandrahari, Ramesh and Chandru represented the farmers.

Joint Director of Department of Industries and Commerce V Venkatesh, Land Acquisition Officer Ambarish, Assistant Commissioner Ayesha Parveen were present.

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