Though they are not on the right side of the law, residents of Nellidadi Guttu family, refuse to leave the palatial house and adjoining 20 acres of land, which is now part of land acquired for the phase one of the Mangalore Special Economic Zone.
Laxman Cowta, head of the Guttu family said, “Our Daiwa (the spirit they believe in) is against leaving the place. We will die here than go anywhere.” They have been asked to move to Shanthigudde, where land has been allotted to them.
But Mr. Chowda, who is the head of the family of 300 people, insists, “We believe in the Daiwa. We will not be vacating the place”. At present there are around 60 people, including Mr. Chowta, staying in the Guttu Mane.
Life hasn’t been the same for the Guttu family after the acquisition and reclamation of land surrounding the Guttu Mane by the MSEZ. Over 10 acres of their agricultural land — the yield on which they sustained — is submerged. They also fear water may besiege the house if it rained heavily.
The family attributes water-logging to the blocking of the drain while levelling the land. “For the last two years we have not been able to grow anything,” said an elderly member of the family Shankar Shetty. The 800-meter rugged road leading to this Guttu family is slushy and slippery during monsoon.
MSEZ spokesperson S.T. Karkera said it was too late to consider the plea of the family to allow it to continue there. “There is no other go for the family than leave the place.” Mr. Karkera said they cannot allow any thorough fare in a Petrochemical SEZ. “We have already been served with a notice for having allowed this thorough fare,” he said.