Yettinahole project: farmers unhappy with compensation

Yettinahole project: farmers unhappy with compensation

Farmers of the taluk, who have had to give up their lands for the Yettinahole Lift Irrigation project, have unitedly opposed the compensation amount fixed by the district administration and termed it “unscientific”.

Retired tahsildar Annegowda told DH that the deputy commissioner has fixed the compensation based on the land price during the year 2016-17. For instance, the prices of land per acre at Jannapara village, coming under Halasulige Gram Panchayat limits, has been fixed at Rs 39.2 lakh (dryland), Rs 22.34 lakh (paddy cultivated area), Rs 6,15,000 (areca cultivation) and Rs 36,31,578 for coffee land.

The rate fixed for dryland is more than the coffee estate. The people of Malnad have been cultivating coffee, cardamom, pepper, arecanut and other expensive varieties of trees and plants. Though the  compensation fixed for dryland is justifiable, the rate fixed for coffee plantation is unscientific, Annegowda said.

If the compensation is Rs 39 lakh for dryland, it should be four times more for other types of land and the compensation for coffee estates should be Rs 1 crore per acre, the farmers claim.

‘Price fixed as per Land Act’

Farmers Kiran Kushalappa, Sundar Raj and Mryutunjay explained that Hassan, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru districts account for more than 70% of the country’s coffee production.

Coffee planters grow lakhs of trees amid plantation for protecting the environment. The region has been producing commercial crops like coffee, cardamom, pepper and arecanut right from the British era, he said.

Coffee estates are the lifeline for lakhs of planters and labourers who are totally dependent on it.

The government, which is taking up the lift irrigation project by spending thousands of crores, should pay the land losers a compensation of Rs 1 crore per acre for coffee estate. It would be inevitable to stage a protest if the government fails to respond to their demands, they warned.

Assistant Commissioner P Shivaraj said that the compensation for lands acquired for Yettinahole lift irrigation project has been fixed as per the new Land Act.

The farmers have been given time to file their objections, if any. However, a report will be submitted to the government regarding farmers seeking additional compensation, he said.