Correspondent

State urged to drop project as it is detrimental to interests of fishermen, farmers

VIZIANAGARAM: Activists of the CPI, the A.P. Rythu Sangham, the A.P. Matsyakarula Sangham and the A.P. Vyavasaya Krmika Sangham on Thursday staged a dharna at the Collector’s office urging the government to drop the proposed coastal corridor and SEZs.

CPI district secretary P. Kameswara Rao told reporters that the project would displace peasants, fishermen and other oppressed classes and affect their livelihood. They said the government was alienating large extents of land to real estate businessmen.

Land transfer

Already, 1,500 acres in S. Kota mandal for Jindal, 700 acres in Kothavalasa mandal for a glass factory and some 6 lakh acres in the State was being transferred to the corporate sector, he said, and appealed to the government to stop acquiring lands of small and marginal farmers. Later, he submitted a memorandum to P.A. Sobha, DRO. General secretaries of the other three associations participated in the dharna.

Visakhapatnam: The CPI held a demonstration against the proposed coastal industrial corridor and PCPIR opposite the District Collector’s office.

Addressing the gathering, the CPI leaders said that the coastal districts account for 67 lakh tonnes of rice of the total 96 lakh tonnes being produced in the State.

There were about 80 lakh fishermen, 25 lakh dalits and over 1 crore small and medium farmers, lakhs of agricultural labourers and artisans in the nine coastal districts of the region.

Besides paddy, the nine districts grow several commercial crops and other crops, and they would all be at risk as the State Government decided to acquire 1.5 lakh acres between Vizag and Kakinada in the first phase and subsequently five lakh acres in the nine districts, the party leaders alleged.

Besides loss to the agricultural sector, the move would ruin the fisheries sector and result in large-scale displacement of fishermen.

They will be denied access to the sea and the chemical industries would pollute the sea waters.

Stiff resistance

They demanded cancellation of GO No. 34 and withdrawal of the ‘Coastal corridor’ proposal.

They warned that any attempts to drive out the fishermen and farmers from the villages would be met with stiff resistance and the government would have to own responsibility for any untoward incident arising out of it.CPI leaders Chalasani Raghavendra Rao and A.J. Stalin were among those who spoke.