While a house is said to have been collapsed due to the impact of explosion, a well was caved in due to the same reason and many houses have developed cracks. The MSEZ has already acquired land in Kalavaru, Oddidakala, Nellidadi and surrounding areas for the first phase of the project and the development works are being carried out in a fast pace. Meanwhile, the villagers in Shanthigudde are living in fear that the use of explosives not only damages their property, but also create noise pollution in the area. Villagers blame that people’s representatives are tight-lipped and continue to ignore their problems.
The MSEZ Limited has already acquired about 1,800 acres of land through Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB). However, SEZ authorities did not acquire residential area in Shanthigudde, Shanthinagara and Oddidakala, which is adjacent to the proposed project area. Hence, families in the area are living in fear since the developers of MSEZ use explosives to level the land.
There are about 110 families in Shanthigudde, most of them belong to either poor or middle-class category. Majority of the families possess only 3 to 5 cents of land. Hence, the authorities has to pay more compensation to acquire less land here. Residents had submitted memorandum to Tahsildar, MLA, MP and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa urging the government to acquire their land for the MSEZ project. However, government did not take initiatives to acquire their land. Villagers’ apprehension is that once the project was set up, it would be very difficult for them to live there.
The house belonging to Zubeida in Shanthinagara collapsed four months ago allegedly due to the impact of explosion. Zubeida, who could not repair her house, is now staying in one of her relatives’ house. A well, which was catering water to several villagers, has been collapsed and posing threat to the pedestrians. Meanwhile, many houses in the region too have developed cracks.
Villagers of Shanthigudde had organised several protests and submitted many memorandums since 2006 when the survey work for the land acquisition was started.
Villagers carried out a series of protests including dharnas, election boycott, banner campaign and other agitations urging the authorities to acquire their land. However, neither the authorities concerned nor people’s representatives pay heed to their grievances. Villagers are in apprehension that the area will be isolated as a huge compound wall is being constructed by the MSEZ.