The Govt of Karnataka in its latest order No:RD:54:LGL:2011 dated 23-11-2012 has decided to withdraw the earlier Govt order RD:41:LGL:98 dated 24-05-2000 which was issued without following the prescribed law.
This means the GoK will take over 722 acres 32 Guntas 13 annas of land of Turkarmatti land. The DC of Belgaum has been further advised to issue a letter to the Defense not to take up any construction works in the 7301.06 acres of Private land belonging to the farmers.
The Land Audit Committee will ascertain the exact the amount of land required for the firing range in due course.
Also the ministry of Defense will be approached for compensation to the farmers for their land being used and start the acquisition of land under the land acquisition act, once the extent of the land required is ascertained from the ministry of Defense.
The revenue department on 1-11-1970 had made an order and defined certain areas for the army to carry out field firing and artillery practice for a period of 10 years to an extent of 10639 acres. Later in 1981 the same area was continued for a further period of 20 years. Subsequently in May, 2000 order was issued extending the period for another 20 years and the extent of the land was reduced to 7469.11 acres.
As these lands are in near proximity to the general public, citizens faced many hardships and there have been several requests from the elected representatives and citizens on the same issue.
A committee was recently set up which visited the site 14-09-2012 and held discussions. The committee in its report stated that 722 acres 32 Guntas 13 annas of land of Turkarmatti land stands in the name of the state as Sarkari Kuran land since 1873. The Defense could not give any proof to prove otherwise.
The army is utilizing 7301.06 acres for the Baghdad and Asmara firing range and is also using lands in Marihal and Ramdurg Forest areas. The above orders have been issued in provisions of the Maneuvers Field Firing and Artillery Practice act, 5 of 1938.
The Angadi Institute of Technology and Management belonging to Belgaum MP Suresh Angadi is next to this firing range and since a couple of years the MP had been striving hard to evict this firing range from its current location. Infact he had asked many questions regarding the same in the Parliament as well. Recently the farmers also joined hands with the MP as the army built a wall around the place forcing the farmers from entering their lands.