In 2016 when land acquisition began for the Yettinahole drinking water project by the government of Karnataka, coffee plantation farmers were unhappy with the land price fixed by the district committee and refused to part with their land.
The district committee announced the prices for 483 acres of land in 22 villages of Sakleshpur tehsil in Hasan district, fixing the land acquisition price at Rs 1520 lakh per acre. The landowners were given a months time to file objections, if any. The land acquisition price fixed for coffee plantations ranged from Rs 21 lakh to Rs 38 lakh per acre. The farmers claim that land under coffee cultivation costs high compared to dry land, which is why they had objected to the price fixed by the committee.
After a few protests, the government agreed to directly purchase land from the coffee growers at Rs 2530 lakh per acre, but more than 35 farmers are still waiting for their compensation. The Hassan Planters' Association has been helping these farmers find a job to make ends meet.
P.P. Sunder, one of the farmers who did not receive the compensation, told Land Conflict Watch that those who received the money had to bribe the government to get what was promised to them.
The Yettinahole Integrated Drinking Water Project, one of the flagship projects of Krishna Neeravari Nigam Ltd, aims to provide drinking water to nearly seven million people in droughtprone Kolar, Chickballapur, Ramanagaram, Tumkur, Bengaluru Rural and Hassan districts.
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