Ryots, officials lock horn over thermal plant project

Foundation-laying ceremony planned even before fixing rate for land

The farmers who have received acquisition notices to part with their land for the project, are unhappy that the foundation-laying ceremony is organised in a hurry even before fixing the rate for the land.

As per the schedule, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shindhe and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa will lay the foundation stone for the project.

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which will invest Rs 20,000 crore on the project, has already opened an office in Bijapur. NTPC has released Rs 26 crore to The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for acquiring land for the proposed 4,000-mega watt thermal power plant. 

KIADB has already released notification over acquisition of 1,950 acres and issued notices to the farmers. But, a committee under the chairmanship of deputy commissioner is yet to be formed to fix the rate for nearly 3,000 acres in Kudigi, Masuthi, Telagi and Golasangi villages of Basavana Bagewadi taluk.

A farmers’ leader of Masuti, Dr Y K Hoogara said the farmers demand a sum of Rs 15 lakh per acre. 

“The officials should have interacted with the farmers to clarify their confusions before proceeding with the event,” he said. The farmers will hold a meeting on March 30 to discuss future course of action, Hoogar added.

However, Deputy Commissioner R Shantaraj said there was no hurdle to hold the event as preliminary land acquisition notification has already been published and a few farmers have given their approval in writing.

The Government has agreed to supply water from Almatti reservoir and the experts have convinced the farmers during a public meeting recently, that there will not be any environmental hazards, he said.

 “A proposal will be sent to the Environment Department soon for the clearance,” Shantaraj said.

District In-Charge Minister Govind Karjol exuded confidence that the farmers will not oppose the project as this first thermal unit to be set up by NTPC in the State, will give big fillip to the district’s development.

Basavana Bagewadi legislator S K Bellubbi told Deccan Herald the officials’ decision to hold the event before fixing the price has led to the confusion. “I’ve requested the Government to hold the event only after fixing the price,” he said.  

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