The Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, which is opposing the land acquisition will hold a padyatra on January 23 which will start from Bada Ganpati in Indore and culminate at Sagore Kutee.
Talking to TOI, Tapan Bhattacharya, convenor of the samiti, said that the land in question was fertile and suited for agriculture as the water table in the area too was good. Farmers are using the land for cultivation of cotton and wheat and hence they do not want to part with this land.
About 15,000 people living in the four villages (namely Kalibillod, Ambapura, Ranmalbillod & Salampura) will be affected once the government goes ahead with its plan of acquiring land for the construction of the industrial cluster. “The government is offering us a compensation amount of merely Rs 3.50 lakh per bigha (1 hectare=4 bighas) as against the prevailing rate of Rs 64-65 lakh. Hence, the farmers are not keen on selling their land.”
The state industries minister, Kailash Vijaywargiya, told TOI that he promised the farmers about conducting a re-survey of the area. However, the affected farmers are not ready to buy the idea and rather they are adamant that they won’t hand over their land at any cost.
The anger of the farmers can be gauged by the fact that the farmers of the area had driven away an AKVN official who had gone there for due diligence recently.
The farmers are stating that 150 units in the nearby Pithampur industrial areas were lying idle which can be used for the cluster. Secondly, nearly 600 hectares of forest land also fall in the area, which can also be of the use for the purpose.
Thirdly, around 1,000 square metres of land, that were acquired by the authorities some 4-5 years back could also be of help. KSS is getting support for its cause from activists & NGOs like Medha Patkar who had recently paid a visit to the place, Ekta Parishad and Rashtriya Sewa Dal.