Hubballi: The tussle between Belagavi rural MLA, Laxmi Hebbalkar and minister Satish Jarkiholi over the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) in Halaga village escalated on Thursday with the legislator giving him a two-day deadline to take a delegation to the Chief Minister and resolve the land acquisition row involved.
Speaking to reporters in Belagavi, Ms Hebbalkar alleged that the minister and the district administration had not discussed the project with her and protested that a paltry Rs 3 lakh was paid to the farmers for their land acquired to make way for it.
"The government has paid Rs 13 lakh per acre as compensation for the farmers who parted with their land for construction of the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha," she noted.
Addressing Mr Jarkiholi, she said,"You are in a responsible position. You should give the farmers justice by taking a delegation to the Chief Minister. I will also join you. Let us put our personal issues aside and not play with the lives of 155 farmers."
Ms Hebbalkar claimed that the standing chilli crop had been destroyed by the officials before forcibly acquiring the farmers' fertile land.
"The minister and the district administration are only acquiring fertile land without paying the farmers adequate compensation although there are 50 acres of alternative land adjacent to the proposed plant site. I am not against development, but I will not allow the government to implement the project without convincing the farmers. I will join hands with them to stage protests if work on the project is not suspended, "she warned, regretting that only land in her Assembly constituency was being acquired when it lacked basic infrastructure.