Opposition to land acquisition for MRPL expansion

Opposition to land acquisition for MRPL expansion

Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil met the protesting farmers, fishermen and members various organisations, in front of DC's office in Mangaluru on Monday.

Farmers, fishermen and members of various organisations, under the aegis of

Karavali Karnataka Janabhivruddhi Vedike, staged a protest in front of the deputy commissioner’s office opposing the expansion of MRPL.

William D’Souza of Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samithi urged the authorities to withdraw land acquisition process. “We will not give our land for the fourth phase expansion of MRPL at any cost. Fertile farmland in Kuthethooru and Permude villages are notified for land acquisition by the authorities,” he charged.

“Despite submitting a comprehensive report on the ill effects of the expansion of industries to the ecologically sensitive region, the authorities are going ahead with the land acquisition process. The KIADB in the past had already acquired enough land for the industrial purpose that has remained idle even to this day. Already acquired land should be used for fourth phase expansion of MRPL,” he said

If the authorities continue to acquire fertile farm land in the district, then pad-dana (narrative or ballad) songs will not be heard in the paddy fields. Several species of frogs and fishes have already become extinct due to the release of effluents to the water bodies, he said.

K V Bhat of AITUC said that land mafia is behind the acquisition of fertile farmland. The governments have been acquiring farmland and handing it over to the MNCs in the name of development. Unfortunately, the MNCs and mega industries have failed to provide employment to the local people who have lost their livelihood, he charged.

Rajendra Kumar of AAP said the petrochemical industry has set out to acquire 1011 acres of land. “No social impact assessment study has been done on the negative impact of such an expansion programme. If MRPL is allowed to acquire additional land, there will be another Bhopal like tragedy,’’ he warned.

T R Bhat of Karavali Karnataka Janabhivruddhi Vedike said, “Desi culture can be protected only by safeguarding our land. The Supreme Court guidelines have been flouted while acquiring the land.”

The protesters demanded Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil to arrive at the spot and receive memorandum. Finally, the DC arrived and listened to their grievances.

Later, speaking to reporters, Senthil said it is a long-pending demand of a section of the farmers not to acquire land for industrial purpose. The case is pending before the court. “I will convene a meeting of the farmers to discuss on the issue within a week,” he said.

Meanwhile, the meeting convened to fix rate for the land to be acquired will be held as per the directions of the court. About 82 % of the farmers have given their consent for land acquisition, he added.

In a memorandum submitted to the chief minister through the deputy commissioner, the Vedike urged the government to withdraw its permission for expansion of MRPL and to stop the land acquisition process initiated by the KIADB.