Special Correspondent

140 Vaddera families, living on land meant for NGO colony, given pattas

Municipality proposes to lay roads at a cost of Rs. 30 lakhs

Vadderas rename colony as Balineni Nagar after the Minister

ONGOLE: Minister for Mines Balineni Srinivasa Reddy laid foundation stone for roads in the modern vegetable market complex and distributed pattas among 140 Vaddera families encroaching upon land meant for NGO colony in the town.

The minister has thus solved two burning problems in the town.

Though the municipality shifted vegetable vendors from old to new market more than a year ago, it did not lay internal roads in the complex. As there is no road facility for the shops in the back row, consumers literally shun them.

So the shopkeepers, who paid rent for the shops, had to abandon them and carry on their business on the road near the shops in the front row facing problems.

Following rains in November, the road was inundated causing loss to the shopkeepers who resorted to agitation demanding the municipality to lay roads and provide access to their shops.

They also pointed out that the approach road to the market was ridden with potholes and wanted the municipality to lay Rajiv Marg 60-foot road joining Kurnool road with Rangaraya tank.

Acting on their complaints, the municipality now proposed to lay roads at a cost of Rs. 30 lakhs and also take up first phase of Rajiv Marg with 30-ft road at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs.

The minister laid foundation stones for these two works late on Tuesday night providing relief to vegetable vendors. Similarly, the railway land earmarked for NGO colony was encroached by some poor people causing jitters among NGOs.

Following removal of railway line leading to Ongole hill, about 14 acres of prime land became vacant in the town limits.

Housing society

The town association of NGOs floated a housing society and sought allotment of the land. Railway employees also vied for the same land for house-sites. They finally agreed to share the land. The NGOs paid the amount demanded by the Railways.

But some persons filed public interest litigation contending that the Railway and state employees are getting prime land reportedly for a song. Even as the case is pending in the court, some poor people allegedly encroached upon the land and raised huts complicating the issue. Following an agitation by the NGOs, the Minister intervened and directed that 5.81 acres should be earmarked for allotment to NGOs after the court judgement. He promised to provide house-sites to the poor people in the remaining land and issued them pattas on Tuesday. He also promised to sanction them Indiramma houses.

Homeless identified

The grateful Vadderas renamed the colony as Balineni Nagar after the Minister. Mr Srinivasa Reddy said that the revenue officials had identified all houseless persons in the town and issued 6,000 slips to them. He promised to sanction them house-sites in the town soon.