Land losers for B'lore-M'lore pipeline in Belthangady cry foul

“We own only two acre land. For one gas pipeline, I have already lost 83 cents of land. On the left hand side of my house lies Petronet pipeline passing from Mangalore to Bangalore via Hassan. There is a high-tension line passing above my house.

Now, I have heard that another pipeline will pass through and it will demolish my house. I have also heard that two more pipelines will pass through in the region. If this is the case, then my family will be on streets. We are leading a pitiable condition,” said Hukra of Pilikkala with tear in his eyes.

This is the tale of farmers who will lose land for the proposed HPCL gas pipeline on Mangalore-Hassan-Mysore-Soloor line via Neriya-Pilikkala-Puduvettu in Belthangady taluk.

Already diesel-petrol pipeline of Petronet is passing through the villages.

“We did not have information when the pipelines were laid. A few of those who had lost their land for Petronet pipeline are yet to get compensation. Apart from HPCL, Relogistic Infrastructure (Mangalore-Bangalore-Chennai) and Mangalore-Chitradurga pipeline will also be laid. Why should all the pipelines pass through our land. Why should only our village bear the brunt of development,” ask the farmers.

Rajya Raitha Sangha Hasiru Sene Puduvettu-Neriya zone President Venkappa said that they had been holding protests, against the proposed line for the last three years. “The officials were conducting the survey without providing any information to us.

They were trying to mislead us. We do not want compensation, instead we want our land which is our livelihood. We also want our farm land to be intact. The future generation can understand the meaning of farming only if the land is preserved. We had appealed to the Chief Minister and other elected representatives. However, all our efforts did not yield any result.”

He said that the farmers had opposed the move to identify land in a paddy field for constructing a pumphouse. “The pipeline path of Petronet is 18 metre wide.

There is a need for six metre wide land for laying the pipeline adjacent to Petronet. We will lose 26 metre wide land for the pipelines. We can grow only short term crops. About 86 families will be affected with pipeline and six houses will have to be demolished,” said Harsha.

There is a rule that in the three kilometre radius of the pumphouse, there should not be any habitation. “If pumphouse is constructed, then where should the families go. We will not withdraw our protest,” said Raitha Sangha treasurer Manoj.

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