Thursday, November 10, 2016

Karnataka: Villagers' plight continue as Airport lands on failed government promises

Bengaluru: As the government prepares to widen the alternative road to the airport that had displaced several families, here's a snapshot of the plight of the former inhabitants of villages that once occupied the area around the landing strip.
In 1999-2000, more than 100 families belonging to villages Arishinakunte, Bhavapura, Gangamuttinahalli and Chikkahalasuru were evacuated and resettled 23 km away near Sulibele in Hoskote taluk. They were paid Rs 5 lakh per acre of land owned and promised all civic facilities in their new settlement.
But that's not how things have panned out. While the villagers were compensated for their land, theirs is a tale of unplanned displacement, unmet promises, inability to cope with new realities and the squandering that comes associated with sudden wealth.
Add to that the resistance by the indigenous settlers. "We were beaten by the locals here for trespassing," said N Munivenkat-appa, 46, who had relocated from Arishinakunte."The government granted 50 acres for the settlers from the four villages... But at present we only use 12 acres. The local villagers are not letting go the remaining 38 acres."
The new settlement, which was also named Arishinakunte, has no drinking water supply, bus stop, street lights, hospital, school or space for animals. "We also don't have a burial ground.Six months ago, we protested for two days for space to bury a neighbour who had died. Finally , the authorities made space by the brook," Munivenkatappa said. Two years ago, the government evicted about 100 families from Bandikodigehalli and Mylanahalli villages, which fall along the path of the alternative road to the airport from Bagalur. They haven't been resettled yet.
10/11/16 Umesh Yadav/Economic Times