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Land acquisition: Displacement looms large over Koraga families

Five other families with 45 members, like Sudheer, were shocked after the notification on the proposed land acquisition was issued on March 21
Last Updated : 25 June 2022, 11:19 IST
Last Updated : 25 June 2022, 11:19 IST
Last Updated : 25 June 2022, 11:19 IST
Last Updated : 25 June 2022, 11:19 IST

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“Our hopes were renewed when officials released funds for developing a well. But the notice on land acquisition from Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has left us devastated,” Sudheer, a young man from Koraga Colony at Kotnayaguthu in Balkunje, lamented.

Five other families with 45 members, like Sudheer, were shocked after the notification on the proposed land acquisition was issued on March 21.

“We were depending on water from a pond in an elevated area. The water from this pond reaches the colony with the help of gravitational force. We were happy that we could stop depending on the pond and use water from the well for our daily chores. All our dreams have been dashed to the ground,” he told DH.

“The pond water never goes dry and is used for all puja rituals in the 'gudi' in and around the houses in the colony,” the residents said.

Jabba Koraga, a 70 year-old man, the head of a family, said, “We were born here and will die here. This is the land passed on to us from my grandmother. We cannot live elsewhere. Earlier, we were engaged in making baskets for living. Now we are depending on agriculture.”

Koraga explained that the families have been carrying out farming on a 12-acre land, belonging to the family, by cultivating paddy, arecanut, coconut, sugarcane and vegetables.

“Where else can we go if our land is acquired by the government? Can we start our life once again?” he asked.

“We grow our own food and rear cattle for milk. Since many in these five families are not educated, what job will we get if we are evicted from the land?” Koraga wanted to know.

Sumathi said she had been cultivating vegetables like okra, brinjal, ‘basale,’ long yard beans, ivy gourd, cucumber and black pepper in her land and was self-sufficient. “This is the land of our forefathers. We will not leave this land at any cost,” she said.

The families also declare that their gods cannot be left behind. We cannot shift these 42 family 'daiva' (demigods) including Satyadevathe, Baikardi, Koragajja to some place,” Koraga said.
About 42 'daiva' belonging to the lineage of the Taalianna family in Koraga community originate from here in the colony, says Sudheer who is uncertain about the future of his family.

“During rituals associated with 'daiva' like ‘Tulasi Puja,’ ‘Sona Sankramana Puja,’ ‘Tambila’ and ‘Chauthi Puja,’ over 500 to 600 members from the family lineage gather at the Koraga colony in Balkunje,” Jabba Koraga and Sudheer said.

“We will never get such fertile land elsewhere,” Koraga added.

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Published 25 June 2022, 09:06 IST

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