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After 43 Years, 58 Families Displaced for Hidkal Dam Still Await Relief

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By uday

In the Hukkeri Taluk district, over 58 impoverished farming families have tragically lost their land and have been forced to live on the streets for a staggering 43 years due to the Raja Lakhamagouda Dam or Hidkal Dam. These unfortunate victims have not received any form of compensation or land, nor have they been granted any land allotment order from the government during this extensive period. It is disheartening to note that neither the government nor the authorities have made any effort to guide these refugee families to their designated lands and plots.

On Thursday, these victims gathered at the Belagavi District Collector’s office and submitted a formal request regarding the land title deed.

During this event, social activist Bhimappa Gada addressed the crowd, highlighting the plight of farmers from various villages in Belagavi district who have been rendered landless. He emphasized that the government’s negligence has led to farmer suicides, and if the district commissioners and the government fail to address this issue by December 1, the affected families will intensify their fight for justice.

hidkal-dam
Hidkal dam overflows

The individuals who have suffered the loss of their land in the submerged areas of the Hidkal dam harbor deep resentment towards the government. In response, they are now planning to stage an indefinite sit-in satyagraha, which is rapidly gaining attention and becoming a pressing concern for both the government and the district administration. The Hidkal Reservoir, initially intended to be a blessing for the villagers of Hukkeri Taluk, has instead become a curse for the farmers who have been deprived of their land. During the construction of the Hidkal dam, several villages in Hukkeri Taluk were left helpless as their land and homes were submerged in the backwaters.

It is truly tragic that over 43 years have passed since the government promised to allocate land to these 58 families affected by the Hidkal reservoir. Shockingly, no official documents have been prepared to acknowledge the victims, leaving them in a state of limbo. Furthermore, the authorities have failed to inform these displaced families about the location of the lands and plots that were supposedly allotted to them.

A total of 24 impoverished families residing in Hidkal, Beeranholi, Managutti, Islampura, Gudanatti, Halewantamuri, Hunur, Masti, Sinhal, Jinarala, Bedaratti, Katabali, and Aralikatti in the Hukkeri taluk districts have tragically lost their fertile lands due to the submergence caused by the Hidakal reservoir. The government had initially set aside a significant portion of land in the reservoir’s backwaters with the intention of allocating it to the affected individuals. However, the homeless families are now infuriated by the continuous negligence of the state government and the minister responsible for Belagavi district over the past 43 years. Consequently, they have decided to resort to a sit-in protest, following the path of satyagraha.

A Satyagraha, has been planned from Dec 1 by the affected families within the premises of the DC’s office in Belagavi and aims to bring justice to the victims.

Farmers who have suffered the loss of their land in the backwaters of the Hidal reservoir have appealed to the DC Belagavi for the rightful ownership of their land.

These families have tirelessly visited numerous government offices for the past 43 years, attempting to register their names for the lands promised by the government. They have also sought assistance in measuring the available land in Sadara Uttaras, hoping to cultivate these lands. Despite the chief minister’s assurance during a public meeting in the district that these issues would be promptly resolved, the pleas submitted by these families have been met with silence. The families were promised a report on this matter within one week, as the Collector wrote a letter to Tehsildar Hukkeri on 23-05-2022. However, it is disheartening to note that almost 16 months have passed, and the authorities have failed to provide any feedback or assistance.

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