The work on the Naval Alternate Operational Base (NAOB), a futuristic naval base, is progressing at brisk pace near Atchutapuram, about 60 km from here, even as fishermen and other project affected people (PAP) are crying foul over implementation of promises for their rehabilitation and resettlement.
After soil testing, heavy blasting is continuing to construct various structures by deploying heavy earth moving equipment. Boundary wall construction has also started though in some patches land acquisition is not yet completed due to some objections from locals.
“Barring a few promises, many such as construction of residential English medium school, extension of free treatment at naval hospital and construction of community health centre, jobs to all eligible and construction of a fishing jetty/jetties have remained unfulfilled,” Chodipalli Gangaraju, president of NAOB Nirvasitula Samkshema Sangham, told The Hindu on Sunday.
Land acquisition process for NAOB was launched in 2005. After several rounds of agitations, the government agreed to provide a compensation of Rs.1 lakh to all those above 18 years, provide permanent and contract jobs, set up a convent or Central School.
In the first phase, nearly 4,500 acres, both private and government land, was acquired in Rambilli, Rajala Agraharam, Marripalem and Vakapadu. Four villages – Velpugondupulam, Revuvathada, Devallapalem and Pisinigottupalem -- were totally displaced following which houses were shifted to a rehabilitation colony. The demands of the PAP include issue of IRIS-based ID cards, construction of two jetties, employment, formation of labour contract societies, residential school for fishermen’s children, validation of list of families, provision of health centre, social development infrastructure, enumeration of fish vending women, compensation for society lands and house-sites to all.
“We are considering compensation and other benefits as per GO Ms. No. 68. In fact, we are also in touch with the naval authorities to extend more benefits to the affected families,” District Collector V. Seshadri said. On the promise of providing fishing jetty near their habitations, he said due to Mumbai terror attacks, it had been decided not to develop jetties within five nautical miles of projects of strategic importance. “We are trying to locate it at a convenient place,” he disclosed.
It is said that the authorities are in the process of acquiring nearly 3,000 acres at Bangammapalem, Kothapatnam, Yatha Kothapatnam and Vadanarsapuram villages in Rambilli and S. Rayavaram mandals.
“We will not allow acquisition for second phase before fulfilling the promises made thrice in writing during 2010-12 and extending rehabilitation package as per GO Ms. No. 68,” said CPI (M) leader K. Loknadham.