Karnataka: Land for POSCO in tussle

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By Sangamesh Menasinakai

28th January 2012 01:43 AM

GADAG: The farmers of Mundargi taluk are facing hardship as the government has stopped registration of sale deeds of over 5,700 acres, which were notified by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) for setting up the POSCO steel plant.

Following stiff resistance from the farmers, the  government had promised to relocate the proposed POSCO steel plant on July 13, 2011. However, it has not denotified the lands in the taluk in the state gazette so far. As a result, sale deeds of lands in Halligudi, Jantli-Shirur, Mevundi, Venkatapur and Pethalur have been deferred for a year.

In spite of oral sale agreements in the past one year, many farmers are unable to get the sale registered till today, said Shambanna Bevur of Halligudi. Gram Panchayat member Shashidhar Purad informed that the officials concerned have been stating that notified land can not be sold. However alterations like adding or removing names in property details is allowed, he added.

Anti-POSCO campaigner Shivabasappa Channalli alleged that though the lands were not hypothecated to the KIADB, officials in the Sub Registrar Office were insisting them to wait for the denotification.

“The government has assured denotification of the lands in Mundargi taluk in a letter, but the same has not happened. The denotification is yet to come in the gazette,” said Basavaraj Sulibhavi, president of the Bhoo Swadhina Virodhi Sangram Samiti, a forum which fought against the establishment of the POSCO steel plant.

When Express contacted Mundargi tahsildar Ramesh Konareddi, he expressed ignorance about the issue.

Meanwhile, media reports have farmers in the taluk fearing that banks and cooperative societies may deny loans for farmers owning the notified lands.

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