'Govt destroying farmers in the name of development'

G C Bayyareddy, Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha vice president said the Central and the state governments were trying to snatch 50,000 hectares of agricultural land from farmers in the name of industries, roads and railway projects.

Addressing farmers, who had given lands for the widening of National Highway 75, at a convention here on Saturday, Bayyareddy accused that the governments were ‘destroying’ farmers in the name of development. “The lands, which are being cultivated for generations, are snatched from farmers and given to multinational companies. The political parties, may it be Congress or BJP, share the common attitude towards farmers and they are no different. As many as 3.60 lakh farmers in the country have ended lives so far.”

He added that thousands of hectares of land was being acquired in Narasapura, Vemagal and Malur taluk for industries. “Many fertile lands are being acquired for Bengaluru-Chennai Express Corridor, the construction of railway tracks and railway coach factory. We are not against development. But the government should ensure suitable and timely compensation for the land losers.”

Bayyareddy criticised that the governments were following rules of the British ear for land acquisition. “Farmers’ demands should be considered while fixing the compensation. The law mandates farmers’ consent for acquiring land and ensures compensation that is four times more than the current market rate. But nothing is done as per the law,” he added.

“The lands of 1,500 farmers have been acquired eight years ago for the widening of NH-75. The National Highway Authority distributed Rs four lakh compensation per hectare and washed its hands of the matter, directing the beneficiaries to submit an application to the deputy commissioner for the remaining amount. In all these years, several deputy commissioners have assumed office and none of them has taken any steps to address our woes. The late deputy commissioner D K Ravi, however sanctioned compensation, but the highway authority, refused to pay the amount fixed by the district administration and moved the court,” Bayyareddy added.

He said serious protests will be organised, if farmers do not get the compensation. “The government is planning to acquire land for the express corridor without farmers’ consent. We will not allow this to happen. Farmres will not give even an inch of land, if suitable compensation is not given.” Farmers from Kondarajanahalli, Choudadenahalli, Betthani, Maderahalli, Chunchadenahalli, Arabhikottanur, Kendatti, Bellur Ramsandra and Kurki took part in the convention

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