Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hardware park hits roadblock

Hardware park hits roadblock

Bangalore: Here’s another infrastructure project that has run into the familiar roadblock of delayed land acquisition. Years after the announcement of an electronic hardware park near Devanahalli, the project is still caught in inconclusive talks over compensation packages for the affected farmers. On Monday, another round of discussion — between the farmers of three villages and a government team led by Bangalore urban deputy commissioner G N Nayak — was held, with no breakthrough arrived at.
The hardware park project, that had found mention in the state budget as early as in 2002, has been proposed in Jala hobli in the Bangalore north taluk (urban district). Six years later, the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) is sitting on a final notification of land to be acquired for the project. The problem, though, is that there’s still no agreement on compensation.
The KIADB has notified 869 acres of land in the three villages for the hardware park. The affected farmers of the villages of Bagalur, Hoovanayakanahalli and Mahadeva Kodigehalli had initially demanded 15,000 sq ft of developed land for every acquired acre. Though the demand has come down now, the state is still far from giving it the nod. While the farmers have been “unofficially’’ told that the new industrial policy could fix the standard land-for-land compensation at 9,600 sq ft of developed land per acre, sources in the department of industries and commerce said they were not aware of any such move. The KIADB compensates the affected farmers with 8,500 sq ft of developed land per acre.
D S Gowda, convener of the Raitha Horata Samithi, said the farmers were sticking to their demand of Rs 3 crore per acre as cash compensation. The KIADB had compensated farmers who lost land for the aerospace industry park in Devanahalli at the rates of Rs 55 lakh per acre (rural) and Rs 57 lakh per acre (urban). The government is learnt to be proposing a “slightly higher’’ rate for the hardware park. The farmers, though, have a different take.
Double standards slammed
“The excess land left after construction of the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) was handed over to various government departments at Rs 3 crore per acre. Those areas are also in Devanahalli. How can they fix rates that are so different from each other?’’ asked Gowda.
The KIADB had notified 918 acres in its preliminary notification for the park, that the farmers claimed would displace about 1,000 families. Muninarayanappa, special land acquisition officer, KIADB, told The Times Of India that the compensation packages had to be decided upon at a policy level and the talks with the farmers were being taken up only as an effort to arrive at mutually agreeable packages. More meetings with the farmers are expected to be held soon, following which a dedicated committee will finalize the compensation components. COMPENSATION TROUBLE
Compensation row delays hardware park Farmers demand Rs 3 crore/acre; govt proposes


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