Villagers seek more compensation

Villagers of Mangalore taluk, who will have to provide their land for laying the  HPCL’s Mangalore to Solur gas pipeline, have raised objection over the compensation amount offered to them. They have demanded the district administration to give 90 per cent of the market value of the land as compensation as against the compensation given based on the guidance value.

The company has been offering a compensation of 10 per cent of the total value obtained after multiplying the guidance value by four. In a meeting of the HPCL officials and villagers at the deputy commissioner’s office on Saturday, Krishna Rao, an agriculturist from Kandavar village termed the compensation now offered by the company as meagre.

“We had to give our land for laying pipeline of Petronet way back in 2002. During then, the contractor appointed by the company who was supposed to refill the top soil after the work, did not preserve the top fertile soil, which resulted in the land losing its fertility. Due to this, we were not able to plough the field in that particular area. The guideline issued by the company had also instructed us not to grow coconut and arecanut plantations on that spot. Hence, our land has remained dry and waste,” he said.

Land Acquisition Officer Krishnamurthy clarified that there was permission to grow coconut and arecanut in the area where the pipeline passes. A decision has also been taken to jointly monitor the land and compensation will be given for the loss of yield, if the land loses its fertility. The same was done in the HPCL’s Mudra-Delhi pipeline, he said.
Referring to the obstacles caused by the petro-chemical company for construction of road in the area that was acquired for laying pipeline 12 years ago at Adyapadav in Gurupura, Krishna Rao, an agriculturist, said the same should not be repeated. “When the land owner holds the right to land and the company only holds the right of way, the company should not cause any hurdles for developing the area,” he urged.

He also mentioned about the invisible costs paid by the land owner in the course of laying pipeline. The sub-contractors do not restore the old shape of the land while closing the work. Due to lack of fencing by the contractor, other plants too are damaged. “We will be forced to supervise the work,” he complained.

B Sheikh Sharif from Kenjar village explained the problem faced by him in selling the land where the pipeline passes. He too demanded for an increase in compensation amount.
Listening to the grievances, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said he would look into the demand for revising compensation in a balanced way. He also directed the land acquisition officers to ensure that fence is laid wherever the land is marked for the project and no harm is caused to the property outside the boundary. He also called for a meeting of the villagers and officials on January 23 at 10 am, to discuss the issue.

The pipeline will pass through Mangalore, Bantwal and Belthangady taluks.

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