Farmers obstruct survey for waste-processing unit near Magadi

Farmers obstruct survey for waste-processing unit near Magadi

Farmers obstruct survey for waste-processing unit near Magadi

Tension prevailed at Gorur village in Magadi taluk of Ramanagar district on Thursday, as hundreds of farmers obstructed the survey work to set up a processing unit for Bangalore’s garbage. 

The police took the protesters, including Magadi MLA H C Balakrishna and Nelamangala MLA Srinivasa Murthy, into preventive custody and released them later. The protesters withdrew the protest after the tahsildar promised to discuss the issue with the government. 

A large number of villagers gathered at the land where a team from a Sweden-based firm came for the survey. The protesters entered into an argument with the team members. Balakrishna, Srinivasa Murthy, Basavalinga Swami and Gaddugemath seer Mahanta Swami led the protest rally.

The protesters blamed the government for granting permission to set up the garbage processing unit. The government never consulted the villagers nor took their suggestions before granting permission, they said.

Pushpa Shetty and Kenchaiah, two private persons, bought 45 acres of gomala land that belonged to a few dalit families at survey numbers 31, 32 and 33 in the village in 1998. Later, they sold it for higher prices. The firm obtained permission from the government and prepared the plan for a Rs 250-crore project on the land, they charged.

The MLAs alleged that the government was planning to evict local residents without discussing the matter with them. There is a stream near the proposed area which feeds Tippagondanahalli reservoir. Setting up a garbage processing unit would contaminate the reservoir water, they said.

They alleged that tahsildar Shivakumar started evacuating the local residents without prior notice and exchanged heated argument with him.

Basavalinga Swami and Mahanta Swami said that Gorur is close to the birthplace of Siddaganga Mutt seer Shivakumar Swami. There are a few religious places in the area including Bande Mutt, Gadduge Mutt, Tattekere Rangaswamy temple and Ankale Veerabhadreshwara Swami temple, which would be affected by the proposed unit.

They withdrew the protest after Shivakumar and Ramanagar assistant commissioner Rajendra Prasad promised to arrange a meeting soon on the issue, between local leaders and the government.