As strong winds blow across the hills is a disturbing story (by Siddaiah Hiremath and Sacchidananda Kurgund) of how unscrupulous people are exploiting farmers to install windmills and essentially convert arable land into non-arable land. Excerpt:
Hundreds of windmills have mushroomed in Kappatagudda in Gadag district. The hill that spreads across 33,000 hectares is now shorn of all vegetation thanks to these windmills. It’s not Kappatagudda alone. In Gadag, Shirahatti and Mandaragi taluks, irrigable land belonging to farmers have all been taken over by windmills. The carrot of large amounts of money has been dangled in front of farmers and their lands have all been taken over for power generation by way of windmills.
When farmers confront companies with questions on why they should be selling their land, they are told that the government has taken up the project, and that it is better that they sell their lands right away, before it is acquired by the government.
At least, that has been the complaint of farmers belonging to the village of Harti. Also interesting is the fact that revenue department officials are accompanying staff of private companies, giving farmers the impression that they should indeed be selling their land to the companies, rather than allow the government to acquire it, because then the compensation may be low.
Wind power generation = good idea. Screwing up environment to do achieve this defeats the whole purpose of the exercise and is ironical as well. That farmers have been cheated by misrepresenting information takes the cake.
The district still faces power cuts and load shedding and the power that has been generated has not benefitted the district. Way to involve the local community then. (article link)