Staff Reporter

TDP gives ultimatum to State to ensure payment of compensation for lands acquired before Jan. 1

BRAHMAMGARI MATHAM (KADAPA DT.): Telugu Desam Party district president and former MLA S. Raghurami Reddy on Friday challenged Minister for Major Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah to categorically state if at least 500 acres of land was given water under Telugu Ganga project.

Demanding that the Minister admit that his statement that irrigation water was released to 50,000 acres in Kadapa district as a ‘fallacy’ or tender an apology to farmers. Farmers whose lands were situated a km. away from Brahmamsagar reservoir at Brahmamgari Matham were in disarray as their fields were yet to get water, although UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, formally released water from the reservoir on September 27, 2006, he said.

Mr. Raghurami Reddy and TDP leaders G. Lakshmi Reddy, S. Goverdhan Reddy, L. Madhusudan Reddy and B. Hariprasad inspected breached canals, parched fields and improper canal levels at Nandipalle Gollapalle, Vanampula, Chowdarivaripalle, Palugurallapalle, Mudumala, Mallepalle and Ambavaram in Brahmamgari Matham mandal.

Addressing newsmen at Telugu Ganga guest house, he accused revenue officials of resorting to irregularities and not paying compensation to several hundreds of oustees, who parted with their lands for Telugu Ganga canals three years ago.

Ultimatum given

The TDP leader gave an ultimatum to the State Government to ensure payment of compensation for all the lands acquired before January 1, failing which his partymen and farmers would fill up canals with mud deploying machinery.

Farmers’ lands were acquired, compensation was not paid, agricultural fields were yet to get water and hence farmers were on the verge of committing suicide, he lamented.

The Government awarded works on EPC basis and contractors prepared designs, canal levels and estimates to suit their interests at the cost of ryots’ interests, he alleged.

He disputed Mr. Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s claims that 11 lakh acres in the State including 59,000 acres under Telugu Ganga project were provided irrigation. Distributary canals were not completed under the right and left canals and the project would remain incomplete even after five years, at the ongoing pace of works, he maintained. A woman Gudur Jayalahmamma of Thotapalle village alleged that compensation was not paid to one and half acres of land since seven months.

Former water users association president of Chowdarivaripalle Konda Reddy alleged that 550-metre stretch of Maderu canal was left incomplete but officials cleared bills of Rs. 1 lakh and hence ryots dug up the remaining canal.

Savithramma of the village said compensation was not paid for five acres of land taken over from her three years ago.

The canal was at a lower level than fields thereby denying water to fields, villagers of Palugurallapalle said.