Farmers want their lands back

Farmers want their lands back

The vacant lands, acquired for Wipro Limited and Shapoorji Pallonji Group, by KIADB under Mogarahalli and Anaganahalli limits, in Srirangapatna taluk.

The farmers, whose lands have been acquired by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) at Mogarahalli and Anaganahalli, under Belagola hobli of Srirangapatna taluk, in the neighbouring Mandya district, in 2006, are demanding their lands back.

M Lokesh, a resident of Kumbarakoppal in Mysuru, said, 15 acres of lands of his father was acquired by the KIADB. “Most of the farmers, whose lands have been acquired, are residents of Kumbarakoppal. Others are from the villages in the surroundings — in both Mysuru and Srirangapatna taluks. The lands, a total of 206 acres and 19 guntas, were acquired by the KIADB in 2006, for Wipro Limited and Shapoorji Pallonji Group. We were paid Rs 9 lakh per acre in 2018,” he said.

Chikkaboregowda said, they parted with the lands with a hope that a member of their family would get a job in the industries that would come up on the lands. “However, since then, we neither own the lands nor got the jobs. The lands are still lying vacant and we suspect that the lands would be misused. Some of the farmers, whose lands have been acquired have not received the compensation amount. Some of them have appealed against the acquisition before the court. Some of them have got a stay order against the acquisition,” he said. B Mahadevu said, just opposite their lands, a private company has developed a layout (Shobha Meadows), where a single residential site costs Rs 45 lakh, while their lands have been acquired for peanuts. “Our lands are valuable as they are just one km away from the Ring Road. But, we are denied the right to enjoy the benefits. According to the KIADB Act, if the acquired land is not used within five years for the purpose for which it was acquired, it has to be returned to the land owners or their legal heirs. Even if the date of our receiving the compensation amount is taken into account, 2008, 10 years have passed. So, we want our lands back,” he said.

G S Prabhu, who has inherited some lands through his mother, said, KIADB need not acquire lands for huge corporates like Wipro Limited and Shapoorji Pallonji Group. “Such companies can buy lands from the open market. Besides, Shapoorji Pallonji Group is largely into construction and real estate, with little to do with manufacturing. Instead, KIADB should allot lands to micro, small and medium industries and help them grow and generate jobs,” he said. Lokesh of Kumbarakoppal, who also runs two manufacturing units in the same locality, said, he acquired 10 guntas of land in an auction conducted by a bank recently for Rs 1 crore, while his share of nearly four acres is lying idle, due to the high-handedness of the KIADB. In-charge Executive Engineer of the KIADB, in Mysuru, R Sreedhar said, the lands have not been fully handed over to the companies as there are some patches like a cemetery in the middle. “A decision on the issue will be taken by the higher officials,” he said. The special land acquisition officer of the KIADB was not available for a comment.