Tension gripped Kanaparthi village where angry farmers ghearoaed officials on Thursday and threatened to commit self-immolation to protest against Genco efforts to acquire their fertile land for setting up a thermal power project.

Genco has been planning to acquire 2,600 acres of land in 11 villages surrounding Kanaparthi for its thermal power project.

Farmers are reluctant to part with their paddy lands on the plea that they are precious for their livelihood. But the government has feedback that most of the lands are barren.

When the farmers went to represent their woes, Chief Minister K Rosaiah reportedly commented that most of the lands proposed for acquisition were barren, obviously acting on the feedback he had. But farmers explained him the situation saying that they had constructed a check-dam across Gundlakamma under Telugu Grameena Kranthi Padham in mid-eighties and used lifts to irrigate the lands. The ayacut is now localised for wet crops under Gundlakamma irrigation project. They pleaded with the government not to deprive them of their lands now.

The Genco deputed its deputy director Santosh Kumar and superintendent engineer Ranganathan to ascertain the facts and report. Accompanied by Special Collector (land acquisition) Radhakrishna Murthi, the senior officials visited Kanaparthi. On knowing about their visit, hundreds of men and women from all the 11 villages mobilised themselves at Kanaparthi to protest against the acquisition.

They squatted across the road and held up their vehicles and ghearoed them for one or two hours.

Self-immolation bid

Some young farmers doused themselves with kerosene and threatened to set themselves afire leading to tension in the village.

CPI (M) leader N. Ranga Rao pacified the farmers saying that the officials had come on their invitation to ascertain facts and so they should allow them to inspect the lands.

He told the team members that the entire area proposed for acquisition was fertile and irrigated land. “Not an acre is barren,” he asserted. Later, the team members visited the fields before leaving the village.

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