The Karnataka government is still looking at acquiring land in Halligudi village of Gadag district for South Korean steel maker Posco’s proposed Rs 32,300-crore plant. Last month it had said it would not acquire land forcibly to set up the plant.
“The government is still open to acquiring land at Halligudi for Posco plant, as majority of farmers are ready to sell their land,” said Murugesh R Nirani, large and medium industries minister.
“We have received consent letters on bond paper from around 80 per cent of families identified for land acquisition. They are ready to sell their land, while the heads of religious mutts in the district have opposed. We have only said their land will not be acquired forcibly,” he said, adding If Posco wanted an alternative site, the government would be happy to give it elsewhere.
A senior company director from South Korea is visiting Bangalore on August 23 to hold talks with chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda. The government would also talk to the pontiffs of Tontadarya and Annadaneshwar Mutts, who were against land acquisition in Halligudi, before taking a final decision, he said.
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has identified 3,382 acres of farmland in Halligudi to set up the six-million tonne per annum plant. It has issued preliminary notices under Section 28 (1) of the KIADB Act to 532 farmers in Halligudi and completed the personal hearing with families opposed to the acquisition. Over 400 families have given consent to sell their land.
Though former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa had said the government had dropped the land acquisition proposal in Halligudi, sources said the special land acquisition office of KIADB in Dharwad was yet to get a communication from Bangalore regarding this.