People reiterate their opposition to garbage dumping

People of Achayyapeta and some other villages under Sundarayyapeta panchayat near Anakapalle once again made their opposition known to dumping of garbage by the Anakapalle municipality when a team of officials from different government departments visited the village and interacted with them on Tuesday afternoon.

Dumping of garbage by the municipality and villagers’ opposition drew a lot of attention when the municipality used force on March 22 and dumped garbage. Twenty villagers were arrested and criminal cases booked against them. They came out on bail later.

Meanwhile, the High Court issued an interim stay on dumping of garbage at the village. Later, the municipality tried to remove medical waste from the garbage.

The team inspected the 22.8-acre site earmarked for dumping garbage, saw the checkdams, the hill streams, adjacent land being cultivated by the villagers on which there are cashew groves.

The team consisted of Environmental Engineer of APCCB Ali Khan; K. Narsimha Naidu of Archaeology Department; Prof. S. Bala Prasad of Department of Civil Engineering of Andhra University; S. Sarathy of Water Supply Department; Ranganayakulu of VUDA; Srijith Govind of INS Dega; M. Raja Rao of Forest Department; Deputy SP of Anakapalle V.S. Murthy; Commissioner of Anakapalle Municipality S. Muralidhara Rao, and tehsildar Panduranaga Reddy.

Later, the villagers and general secretary of the AP Vyavasaya Vrittidarula Union P.S. Ajay Kumar explained to the team that the then tehsildar of Anakapalle gave advanced possession of land to the municipality though the official was not competent to do so in case of such large extent of land as per the Board Standing Order 24.

The tehsildar did not take any steps to send proposal under BOS 24 to the government.

The poor farmers who raised the cashew groves were not given any notice and the D form pattas issued earlier were not cancelled before the site was allotted to the municipality. One patta holder filed an injunction petition against the municipality in the local court.

Villagers explained that the major stream, called Polimeragedda near which the garbage was dumped, feeds two tanks downstream under which there is cultivation, and joins the Sarada.

The proof of government recognising this was the District Water Management Authority constructing check-dams on the stream.

A local farmer Rekha Ramana Murthy told the team that the garbage was allowed to be dumped on March 22 by the Municipal Commissioner without obtaining permission from the local gram panchayat and the AP Pollution Control Board.

Another local farmer Eggada Bhaskara Rao brought to the notice of officials an order issued by a Division Bench of the High Court saying that municipalities cannot dump their garbage outside their municipal limits.

At the end of the visit, the villagers apprehend that local MLA and Minister for Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao would bring pressure on the team to give permission to the municipality to dump garbage in the village.

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