Correspondent

Notification by Collector sends shock waves

Local MLA proposed construction of bridges linking Meda Line to the city Ryots likely to be affected allege it was done under political pressureWe shall hear the objections of the aggrieved ryots, says district Collector

Kakinada: Close on the heels of upheaval over the acquisition of nearly 10,000 acres along the coast between Thondangi and Kakinada rural for the location of SEZ and ONGC refinery, came the move of the authorities to acquire another 250 acres of paddy fields in the Meda line area.

This land being taken for the purpose of constructing houses on behalf of Housing Board has sparked off a new controversy.

The Meda Line area is adjoining the city but comes under the neighbouring Sampara constituency and is divided by the salt creek. Local MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna has proposed construction of two bridges to make the Meda Line area an integral part of the city, keeping in view the beautification and expansion of the Port City.

Engineers of the Roads and Buildings Department have even submitted proposals for the construction of the two vital bridges linking the wharf road to the Samalkot road connecting Meda Line, Chidiga and Indrapalem villages.

But the issuing of a notification by the Collector proposing acquisition of land, all of a sudden, on behalf of Housing Board has sent shock waves among the ryots. Though only 250 acres was proposed for acquisition, the ryots are apprehensive of total acquisition of the lands in Meda Line. Their apprehensions are compounded with many employees forming into societies to secure land in Meda Line area from proposed 'land banks'.

Friction

The sparing of lands in the first survey numbers and proposing of acquisition from the next has given rise to fresh controversy, as the ryots allege it was done under political pressures. They allege that the lands exempted belong to a local ruling party leader. This has led to fresh friction between local MLA Mutha Gopalakrishna and Sampara MLA Anisetti Bulleabbai Reddy, who were already at loggerheads in case of local of SEZ and ONGC refinery.

Mr. Bullebbai Reddy has moved the matter at all levels and with the Chief Minister leading a contingent of 100 Meda Line ryots to Hyderabad last week. The Chief Minister reportedly assured the agitated ryots that the Government would not go against their interests.

Stir by ryots

Meanwhile, the Meda Line ryots launched a stir seeking dropping of the proposal and even threatened to resort to suicide.

"We have only commenced the process of land acquisition by issuing the notification. This is not final. A lot of procedure is involved in acquisition. We shall hear the objections of the aggrieved ryots before taking a final decision," said East Godavari Collector Anil Kumar Singhal.

He told the The Hindu on Saturday that land acquisition could be done only for the public purpose but not to benefit housing societies or individuals, clarifying over the mushrooming growth of housing societies by various sections keeping an eye on the Meda Line lands.