ELURU: It appears to be not a smooth ride for the administration and people’s representatives of the ruling party during the Praja Patham in the Kolleru area, thanks to the plight of ‘girati’ farmers.
District in-charge Minister Pilli Subhashchandra Bose, Minister for Minor Irrigation Maganti Venkateswara Rao, local MP K.S. Rao and MLAs had to face vociferous protests by the farmers in Nidamarru and Akiveedu mandals.
The farmers were up in arms against what they called the injustice meted out to them during the ‘Kolleru Restoration’ programme and sought land for land compensation.
The removal of encroachments under the ‘Operation Kolleru’ programme undertaken by the government as part of executing the court directives rendered useless girati lands spread over 20,000 acres in both Krishna and West Godavari districts. The government contended that the question of compensation to girati landowners did not arise as the lands were not taken over. It asserted that it did not have any objection if farmers used their lands for agriculture in a traditional manner without disturbing the eco-system in the lake.
But farmers felt agriculture through traditional methods was not feasible.