‘Government is trying to acquire lands by offering very low rates'

The farmers of Buddhavaram and Davajigudem villages near Gannavaram are once again on the agitation path in protest against what they allege the unilateral move to acquire their lands for airport expansion, even as the district administration has begun the process initially with the verification of records of lands which are required to be acquired.

Suitable land

The farmers, who are likely to be affected in the land acquisition, have now come forward with the land-for-land demand. They say that in case their land is to be taken, they need to be compensated with equally valuable land presently lying unused on the western side of the airport. They say 350 acres of land is lying unused and this is being leased out for growing subabul plantations.

Another concern being expressed by farmer leaders is that the government is trying to acquire their lands offering very low rates when compared to the market rates, which they say is totally unjust. They claim that the present market rate being considered for acquisition would come to around Rs.40 lakh per acre while the rate being offered by the administration is just Rs.12 lakh to Rs.15 lakh.

Different rates are being fixed depending on the distance between land and the NH-5. As far as the district administration is concerned, it has not yet disclosed as to which lands are being considered for acquisition.

“It is too early to say. As of now, we are just verifying the records of various lands under consideration. It is still in the planning stage and we cannot say how much land is to be acquired now,” says Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal.

He told The Hindu that they were taking action regarding the acquisition process and additional land would be acquired for the purpose of further development of the airport. The revenue officials, surveyors, MROs, and the Revenue Divisional Officer concerned had been working on the details of the lands to be acquired in the past few weeks.

Protest

Meanwhile, under the leadership of CPI Gannavaram area secretary Konda Veeraswamy, the 40-odd small farmers launched their protest programmes seeking land-for-land as the only solution to the acquisition process.

“We will not allow the acquisition to happen if the government does not agree for land-for-land deal. Where is the problem for giving land lying unused with the Airports Authority?” asked Mr. Veeraswamy.

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