Report by Michael Rodrigues
Team Mangalorean Udupi
Manipal : A protest was staged on Thursday June 21 to demand that the CCCL Ready Mix unit established in Kanchinabail near Hirebetu in Manipal gram panchayat be closed .
K Prabhakar Hegde, addressing the protesters, said, "Any industry needs the permission of the panchayat. Without permission it becomes illegal. Here concrete mixing is getting done. The dust of this industry has adversely affected 500 acres of agricultural land, also causing ill heath among the people in the neighbourhood, Besides, the road used by the company's vehicles has been completely ruined. This unit needs to be closed. All the villagers would stage a massive protest in front of the industrial unit, if it is not closed."
Shiva Prasad, another leader of the protesters, said, "Around 40-50 families reside around Kanchinabail. Hirebettu is an agricultural area. Here anything other than agriculture cannot be carried out, since it causes troubles for the locals here. We will not permit any industry to be established here."
Laxminarayan, the company's manager said, "The premises of the company being connected with MAHE, the company has been functioning from where MAHE has directed it to be. However, since there has been objection from the people, we have asked for alternative land from MAHE. The activity of the company is paralysed for the moment."
Vasant Salian, former minister, agitated over this remark replied, "Only the land belongs to MAHE, and not the company. MAHE does not come into the picture here. MAHE is a University and it does not need to own a company. Do not spoil the reputation of MAHE," he said.
Varadaraj Hegde, speaking on behalf of the locals, insisted that the company give an immediate written undertaking to gram panchayat and the leaders of the protest as to when it would shut down the operations.
Gram panchayat president Sharat Shetty, vice president Kusuma Poojary, Alevoor gram panchayat president Harish Kini, zilla panchayat standing committee president Upendra Nayak, Prashant Hegde and Kodibettu gram panchayat president Laxminarayan participated in the protest.