Belagavi: Threatening to commit suicide en masse, farmers in Belagavi have written to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to immediately stop the setting up of a sewage treatment plant (STP) on the fertilile agriculture land acquired by the government near the Suvarna Vidhan Soudha in Halaga, Belagavi.
The agitating farmers headed by president of the Shetkari Sanghatana, Narayan Sawant appealed to the government to stop the destruction of their fertile land which they had cultivated for years. Alleging that a section of politicians in Belagavi was conspiring to destroy their livelihood, the farmers suggested the government identify some other location for the STP which was planned under the Smart City project.
Going into its history, they recalled that the government had first acquired 40 acres of fertile land for the STP in Belagavi city in 1974 but gave up the idea for the sake of the farmers. Another STP project was proposed in 1977 but was dropped once again for the same reason. Some 10 years later, the government acquired 145 acres around Alarwad on the city's outskirts for an STP and spent over Rs 7 crore on laying pipelines there. But the project was suspended midway local leaders grabbed the land, they alleged, deploring that now an STP was planned at Halaga on fertile land merely 3kms from the Suvarna Soudha.
“When we have already given up our land for the construction of the Suvarna Soudha, acquisition of more agricultural land in the same area is an injustice,” they protested, demanding that the local leaders and government officials stop harassing them in the name of development. The farmers urged Mr Modi to direct the state government to put a stop to the project in their interests.