BENGALURU: Even as environmentalists are raising objections to the Shisila-Byrapura road project in Chikkamagaluru district, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is holding a series of public hearings in the districts concerned, with one held on Friday in Mudigere taluk, Chikkamagaluru district.
As part of Centre’s Bharatmala Economic Corridor project, this road project falls under the 242.31 km-long Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Bantwal-Chitradurga Corridor Project. Under this project, interior corridors, feeder roads and development of coastal roads, (3) will be taken up.
The hearing included the issue of land acquisition procedures for the benefit of farmers and also other concerns raised by environmentalists and NGOs.
More than 200 farmers, planters, local representatives and others took part in the hearing that went on for three hours. According to participants who raised their voice against environmental groups, they asked for a good compensation package from the government for their plantation lands and hoped to get market value. Supporting the government’s project to go in for four-laning in these hilly forested regions, the farmers said their land price would rise four times and also help in faster connectivity to other areas in Karnataka.
Calling the hearing as an eyewash, D V Girish said, “There is no need for this new road as the existing road is enough to meet the needs of the people. There was no demand for this road.”
In fact, many forest officials are opposing the project in Chikkamagaluru as it passes through pristine reserve forests, shola grasslands and regions which gives birth to seven to eight major rivers and many forest streams.