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Farmers protested the opening of Shivamogga Airport.

Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to open the new Shivamogga airport on February 27. On Tuesday, farmers protested against the government for not paying them for the land they had to give up.

Farmers held a protest in front of the deputy commissioner’s office because they didn’t want the airport to open. The farmers who gave up their land so that the airport could be built said that the government has not given them the money that was promised.

“24 acres were given to the farmers as khata, and they were able to farm without any trouble. Then, though, the government decided to build the airport. We told them we would give up the land if they gave us money in exchange. A farmer named Krishnappa said, “The DC tried to take our land by submitting an application to the KEDB, which we fought in the high court.”

“The high court ruled in favour of farmers and threw out all of the government’s orders against them. A payment of 10 crore to eight farmers has been sent to the district collector. “They are still playing with the farmers by keeping the money for compensation,” said a farmer who did not want to be named.

MP BY Raghavendra also said that the government would give land to farmers before the airport opened. “Sogane farmers will get land as soon as possible to make up for their loss. People who gave up land for the airport will get land from the government,” he said.

On 530 acres in Sogane, 15 km from Shivamogga, the airport has been built. When BS Yediyurappa was chief minister in 2008, work on the airport began. But when he came back to power in 2019, he had to do more.

The first test flight at the new airport took place on Tuesday, when an Indian Air Force plane arrived. “The test flights have started, and they will go on for a few days. Raghavendra told the media that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight will land at 11:15 a.m. on February 27.

After thinking about a number of names, including that of Yediyurappa, who is from Shivamogga, the state cabinet decided on Monday to name the airport after the famous poet and writer Kuvempu.

Kannadigas have complained that there aren’t any Kannada signs at the airport, even before the grand opening. Kannada activists took to Twitter to say that the information boards that were put up only had information in Hindi and English. They criticised the government for this.

“If we let this go on, they will make sure Kannada doesn’t exist anymore.”

It is all in Hindi. Kannadigas live in Shivamogga, which is where the airport is. But all of the signs are written in both Hindi and English. “Stop making Kannadigas learn Hindi,” he tweeted.

Several other people on Twitter told Raghavendra and deputy commissioner R Selvamani to fix the signs and make sure the instructions are in Kannada.

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