We (The Land Governance Clinic group) went to the side of Chitradurga; we have gone to this spot in light of the fact that we have picked the issue of the unlawful allotment of the Amrit Mahal Kaval fields in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. We are concentrating on the illegal acquisition of land has created disturbance in the ecological landscape, livelihoods of a large number of people and loss of heritage in the district of Chitradurga. In that district has devoid of water, the State has started a vast industrial complex set up in that place where sources of livelihood of the people depend in Amrit Mahal Kavals. We the Land Governance Clinic points need to examine the issue in subtle element and fight to protect the grassland as well as the livelihood of the community. We will strongly advocate the issue of environment harm, loss of livelihood and heritage lost and highlight the unlawful and non-transparent procedures included in this apportioning by the State.
Visiting to the side and Meeting to the local people of Amrit Mahal Kavals:
When we visited to that place, the constructions works has already started and the returning-wall and fencing were completing. We have met and talk with the local people and examined the development in the regions; we have to understand the background of Amrit mahal Kavals with a specific end goal to comprehend the issues. Amrit Mahal has last 10,000 sections of land of touching stretch of fields left in the condition of Karnataka. At the time of independence, Karnataka had more than 45,000 sections of land of Kavals which have now diminished to 30,000 sections of land. The leader of the Mysore Kingdom then had held 240 kavals which secured around 4.13 lakh sections of land of prairie over his kingdom for grassland unique dairy cattle breed called the Amrith Mahal cows. In present day, this grassland has spread over the areas of Chitradurga, Chikkamagalur, Tumkur, Hassan, Shimoga and Mandya. As the British tenet reached an end, these inconceivable extends of area were diminished to only 60,000 sections of land. This is basically on the grounds that the British did not view fields important as they didn’t make any income for the Government. The kaval in Chitradurga was a winter grazing land and considering the significance of the fragile and sensitive ecosystem, the state government designated the land as district forest under the Karnataka Forest Rules, 1969. We come to realize that Since the Amritmahal Kavals have been grazing grounds subsequent to the seventeenth century, customary pastoralism is a noteworthy control of the community that reside in the grassland. Uncontrolled and unregulated redirection of regular direction has been a trouble for hopelessness to a huge number of people and their livelihood whose jobs are subject to them. More than 60 villages are affected by the diversion of grassland. The major occupations of the communities in the Kavals include cattle, sheep and buffalo rearing, collecting firewood, fruits, tubers, medicinal plants and palm leaves for making baskets and mats, and grass for making brooms. Shepherds also collect wool and weave blankets.
We study the secondary data: In 2002, the Karnataka High Court directed the government to protect this land for grazing purposes. However, at last the Amritmahal Kaval grasslands have been transferred to as under;
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to establish a nuclear enrichment centre, the Defence Research Development Organisation
- Defense Research Development Organisation for construction of massive weaponised drone testing and manufacture for civilian and military surveillance
- Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to establish a synchrotron and a satellite application centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Sagitaur Ventures, a real estate developer in the Information & Technology sector (404 hectares) for a solar plant.
- Karnataka Housing board has constructed villas in the Kavals.
At the time of obtaining the Amrit Mahal Kavals, the Land Acquisition Act 1984 was in force. The Act had ambiguous take on acquisition (definition of public purpose) and compensation. Throughout the years, there were issues in regards to pay and a need to tight down the meaning of open reason. The Land Acquisition Bill acquainted in 2007 attempted with do that, however it lapsed by in 2009. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, viable for January 1, 2014 redefined public purpose, , mandated Social Impact Assessment, limited the area that can be acquired in case of agricultural land. In any case, the LARR Ordinance/, LARR (Amendment) Bill 2015 exempts the following types of projects from the provision of consent, social impact assessments and irrigated multi-cropped land: (i). Defense (ii). Rural Infrastructure (iii).Affordable Housing (iv).Industrial Corridors (v).Infrastructure (including PPPs). As for my understanding these exemptions may improve the atmosphere in that area, it become problematic for rural communities which largely depend on agriculture and cattle rearing for their livelihoods. We would like to identify provisions which may result in unjust acquisition and compensation, and suggest an alternative process of carrying out activities of land acquisition and allotment in the effected zone.
I support in development: I stand, that any development should continue legally and in eco-friendly way. In any case, I opposed any sort of development which occur unlawfully and destroying environment-biodiversity. With respect to government stand; I have sympathy toward the local people and concern for biodiversity yet government can take up any development in sustainable and Eco-friendly way. I support the development in general but in any case, the development should not hurt the sentiment, rights, livelihood and interest. If the progression of development is happening wrongfully and going in against of community then it should stop for time-being, for the interest of the community!
We can work with the community and support their demands?
After visiting to the spot and intellection with the villagers I feel that we can work with the community and support their demand and interest. I though, development is need but the so called development should not take place as its taking place in the Amrit Mahal. In Case of Protecting and Conserving Challakere’s Amrit Mahal Kavals; and the Livelihoods-Supporting, Biodiversity-Rich and Ecologically-Sensitive Grassland, Biological communities” is reasonable, because during the years 2009-2010, no less than 10,000 sections of land of valuable, biodiversity rich, field biological systems, secured for a considerable length of time as Amrit Mahal Kavals touching fields in Challakere Taluk of Chitradurga District, were occupied by then Deputy Commissioner of Chitradurga, Mr. Amlan Aditya Biswas, IAS, for different guard, mechanical, framework, institutional and business purposes. In spite of the way that these decisions may have had the endorsement of the Karnataka Cabinet, the entire practice embraced in far reaching infringement of different laws and without including any of the neighborhood chose governments, neighborhood MLAs, and pertinent offices managing backwoods, lakes, farming, creature cultivation, agriculture, center grounds, arranging, and so forth. . As a result of the shrouded and uneven choice making that was secured inside diverting the said Kavals, the bona fide method for the regular and social impacts of the endeavor has been gotten away particularly additionally, by implication affected groups, significant administrative powers, and the open free to move around at will. The proposed endeavors are all exceedingly tricky; unsafe likewise, will obliterate the fields, its exceptional biodiversity and occupations of thousands in more than 70 towns. In addition, land for the ventures has been advanced in patent negligence of particular headings of the High Court of Karnataka and Supreme Court of India that such environmentally delicate field biological communities ought not to be redirected for any reason without legal endorsement. I oppose this advancement of development at this areas in favors of the community stand until the problem is settled and any kind of development should not taking place at Chitradurga in an against of the community interest.
Therefore, I think, all kind of development and the project should be continuing only after the clearance of all legal and environmental issues in proper manner but before that clearance, I strongly opposed any kind of development which affects the livelihood of the community and environment of that areas. Because I/we support development in eco-friendly ways and through legal meant. I am supporting to the community, because I find that the demand of the community is reasonable and land taken away by the government in the name of the development from the community as “common land” is unfair and illegal in my judgment; where most of them depends their livelihood on that land, and the government should consult to the people and take their consent in the first place.
Subsequently, I/we can backing to the community by supporting and work with community for some reason as under:
- To protect their livelihood,
- The protect environment and biodiversity.
III. Future health care.
- Preserve heritage.
- Preserve grazing land and their future generations.
Vi. To improve their product (Meat and blanket).
The affected community should be given appropriate opportunities as a kind of compensation.
In support of community rights and interests:
I/we support to the community for their right and for their interest but it doesn’t mean that I oppose development. “My stand; there can be development, only if the development can be taking place in legal mean and in sustainable ways, if not I vehemently opposed development in that areas which affect the livelihood of the community, bringing health problem, and effect their fundamental right and right to life by so called development.” My concern is the wellbeing and security for the community in term of livelihood, health and future occupation of those regions. I support to the community for some reasons and I considered supporting to them in certain ways and working with the community in this sense.
Kharingyo Henry Shimrah