Kundapur; Dec 27: Alleging the scam in the multi-core Varahi project, inferior quality work, arbitrary attitude of departmental officials and contractors and farmer’s problem, affected people of Varahi under the leadership of Kundapur taluk farmer’s association staged a protest by laying siege on Varahi on Dec 26.Thursday.
Udupi district farmers’ association president Deepak Kumar Shetty said in his address that the Varahi project, which is not needed by the farmers. This department is not qualified to give compensation money to the affected victims, who have lost land and affected by this project. The conspiracy is being systematically hatched to keep the people under restraint, who speak against the project. He also accused departmental authorities of threatening the farmers by joining hands with contractors.
He categorically said that the struggle which is started today will become fierce in the coming days. Authorities should find a solution to the problems faced by the farmers and farmers should be given adequate compensation within fifteen days. Failing which, state-wide protest will be held through state organizations, he added.
The irregularities of the project should be investigated by CBI.In this regard struggle will be held. If they don’t surrender even for this, struggle will be carried out across the state by calling state farmer association’s president Kodihalli Chandrashekar to Varahi, he warned.
He also said that proper CBI inquiry should be conducted against departmental authorities, contractors, representatives and leaders, who were the part of the irregularities. The affected people, who lost land, should be adequately compensated and in this regard, proper inquiry should be conducted. Adequate details of the works and fact and figures of Rs 520 million project should be given.
The protestors also demanded on the occasion, a thorough probe into the irregularities in the production of power through government produces and construction of wall against sea erosion with boulders.
After receiving the grievances of protestors, an executive engineer Shreekantayya said in his speech that the contract is being given to the contractors by putting a restriction in law and regulations. However some of the houses were damaged due to lack of skill, which is regretted by the department. With regard to the problems faced by the farmers, after discussing the problem with senior officials, within 15 days the ideal solution would be found, he said.
As a precautionary measure, all the gates of Varahi office were locked and additional police forces were deployed as a part of tight security to avert any untoward incidents.
On the occasion representative of state farmers association Fayez Ali, Shankaranarayana village panchayat member Umesh Shetty Kallagadde, native leaders like Chandrasekhar Shetty Kirlady, B.K.Shreenivasa Souda, many farmers and among others were present.
Though many representatives, leaders, organizations and institutions have talked about the irregularities of the Varahi project and problems faced by the farmers in the protests, nobody had the courage to come forward to stage a protest in the history. But the protest, which was held on Dec 26, Thursday was the mile- stone for the Varahi project, said affected farmers.