Ballari: The state government is likely to face the wrath of farmers who parted with their agricultural land for global steel giant ArcelorMittal's steel plant at Kudathini near here if it permits the Luxembourg-based steel behemoth set up a solar farm in the land allotted for steel mill.
With reports suggesting that CM Siddaramaiah is expected to consider Arcelor Mittal's request to change the use of 2,800 acres of land to set up a 600 megawatt solar power plant citing the bad patch the steel sector is passing through, farmers are gearing up to launch a legal fight against the state government.
"Permitting Arcelor Mittal to change the use of land is nothing but a clear violation of the terms and conditions of the MoU entered into between the state government and the company", said Mr Darur Purushothama Gouda, district president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha adding that farmers are sure to approach the courts against this move.
ArcelorMittal inked the agreement in June 2010 at the global investors' meet organised by the Karnataka government to set up a 6 million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel plant Mr Gouda said, thousands of farmers of Kudathini, Veniveerapura, Haraginadoni and other surrounding villages have sacrified their source of livelihood to set up the steel plant.
Apart from adequate compensation, Mr Gouda said Arcellor Mittal has offered a stake in its Rs 30,000-crore steel project to farmers whose land will be acquired for the project and at least one job in the project for each family.
"But, these assurances will not be fulfilled in case the company is permitted to set up a solar plant. Hence, we urge the Chief Minister not to consider the plea of Arcelor Mittal for change of land use", he said....