Krishi Bhoomi Samarakshana Samiti Opposes Land Acquisition by MRPL
Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Madhukar Amin- President of Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samithi (R.) said, ” Ours is a registered association of land owners, possession holders, agricultural labourers and other residents of Permude, Kuthethoor, Thenka Yekkar and Delantha Bettu villages of Mangaluru Taluk, wish to bring the following to your kind attention:
– The Karnataka State Government, through its land acquiring body, KIADB has gone ahead with its land acquisition procedures to acquire 1,011.7719 acres land in Permude, Kuthethoor, Thenka Yekkar and other villages for the purposes of expansion of Phase IV of M/s MRPL (Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited) ignoring severe opposition from land owners and other residents of the area. Ever since November 2015, – that is more than 13 months before the notification, most of the land owners and other villagers have submitted their written objections to the Govt. Since then, we had been constantly demanding a fair chance to be heard through a public debate or discussion in this regard.
– MRPL company is out with its unending greed for land grabbing. Through Government KIADB it is trying to snatch forcibly the fertile lands of farmers to implement the project. Should fertile, self-irrigated lands be given for highly polluting industries such as MRPL? Several caveats from several courts have been filed on most of the land owners as well as activists, who are opposing this land grab. Even just last week, in the joint Grama Sabha of Permude and Kuthethoor villages, held at Sharadha Bhajana Mandira, Kuthethoor, on 11-01-2017, presided over by Panchayat President, Smt. Saroja, a unanimous resolution was passed to oppose this land acquisition.
– After the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (LARR Act 2013) has come into force, any land acquisition by KIADB or by the State government has to be in compliance with the Land Acquisition Act 2013 and has to follow the procedures of its Rules of 2015. The Preliminary notification published in Karnataka Govt Gazette Dt:29-12-2016, No.CI 237 SPQ 2016, is under the State’s out dated draconian KIAD Act 1966 and not under LARR Act 2013 or the State Rules of 2015. KIADB is clearly hand in glove with the company, in cheating the land owners through this notification.
– This very land of Permude and Kuthethoor was part of the 2035 acres notified for acquisition in May 2007, for the 2nd Phase of the Mangaluru SEZ Ltd., an MRPL promoted Company and project. After a constant agitation of over 5 years to save our agricultural land & also for environmental reasons, the Karnataka government had withdrawn the acquisition notification in July 2011. To acquire part of the land it itself felt was inappropriate to hand over to industry smacks of a lack of clarity and consistency in the Government’s stand.
– We all know how MRPL and the MSEZ have adversely impacted the life and livelihood of those living around. The unabated pollution caused by some of its petrochemical units has resulted in turning the area into a critically polluted one. On the job creation front, everyone knows how it has utterly failed to abide by its promise; the local villagers earn better than the meagre, temporary jobs it has provided to some land losers. MRPL’s similar earlier expansion project of 3 MMTPA that they call Phase III, fitted nicely in only 251 acres of land! When there are more than 350 acres of land lying vacant inside its SEZ why do they want to grab more land from poor farmers?
– While there has been a constant push to make this area a viable destination for tourism, on the other hand promoting an expansion of highly polluting Red Category industries here shows inconsistency in the Govt’s approach to development. Ultimately, it’s the residents around, including Mangaloreans who are becoming scapegoats. While the government pays lip service to drought affected farmers and districts, it is pushing us into a drought like emergency by supporting MRPL’s unjustified demands for additional fertile agricultural lands in our district.
We demand with the Govt. & its representatives that the land acquisition process is withdrawn immediately. Or else we will be forced to agitate & fight through all available democratic means, till the notification is withdrawn and the lands are set free for us ” added Amin.
William D’souza (Vice President), Hemalatha Bhat (Vice President), Lawrence D’Cunha (Secretary) and John Pinto (Member) of the Samithi were also present on the dais during the press meet. Social activist Vidya Dinker of Karavali Karnataka Janabhivriddhi Vedike and Citizens Forum for Mangaluru Development has also attended the meet.