Since 2009, various levels of the government have managed to discreetly divert close to 10,000 acres of lands in Challakere.

Watch How thousands of people have lost their livelihood to Indias secret nuclear city
Delve Environment Monday, April 30, 2018 - 18:05

Challakere taluk is home to Amrit Mahal Kavals or grazing lands, on which more than 2,50,000 goats, cows, bulls and sheep found food. About 3,00,000 people depended on these lands for livelihoods.

Since 2009, various levels of the government – district administration of Chitradurga, government of Karnataka and the Government of India – have managed to discreetly divert close to 10,000 acres of lands in Challakere. “We didn't know that these lands were not our commons until one of the shepherds was disallowed from entering the lands,” said Ranganna.

Authorities justified the secrecy because the space was used for defence purposes. In 2011, Srikumar Banerjee, the then chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, spoke about the project rather tangentially. He reportedly said that the facility “could be used to produce nuclear fuel” to help nuclear energy in India.

The details of usage of these 10,000 acres became clear when the villagers filed a lawsuit at the High Court of Karnataka demanding a complete accounting of pasture land. They learnt from the state land registry that Defence Research & Development Organisation was given 4290 acres, Indian Institute of Science was given 1500 acres, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had about 1810 acres diverted to it, Indian Space Research Organisation was given about 575 acres and some sundry lands were diverted to Karnataka Small Scale Industries Development Corporation.

A broader problem: these were crucial to preserve the ecological balance in Central Karnataka.

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How people in Chellakere have lost their livelihood to India’s ‘secret nuclear city'

How people in Chellakere have lost their livelihood to India’s ‘secret nuclear city'.

Posted by TheNewsMinute on Sunday, 29 April 2018

 

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