Plea to acquire land for Sitammasagar as per PESA Act

As the land acquisition process for Sitammasagar multi-purpose irrigation project gained pace, the Telangana Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham (TVKS) district committee has renewed its appeal to the authorities to strictly comply with provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act [PESA] for acquiring lands from farmers in Fifth Schedule areas.

The demand for better compensation and job for one member of each project-affected family from various quarters has gained momentum as the process of serving notices of award of compensation under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013, already began in Aswapuram mandal. The multi-purpose project has been designed to harness the surplus waters of the Godavari for both irrigation and hydel power generation with the main objective of stabilising the ayacut planned under the Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project under construction.

It envisages construction of barrage with a storage capacity of 36.5 tmcft radial gates across Godavari River downstream of the existing Dummugudem anicut at Ammagaripalli village in Aswapuram mandal. Right and Left guide bunds have been planned on either side of the barrage as part of a protection mechanism for which the land acquisition process has been expedited. An estimated 3,244 acres of land will be required for the multipurpose project in Aswapuram, Manuguru, Dummugudem and Charla mandals.

The officials should desist from any attempt to forcibly acquire the lands from farmers in the midst of pandemic situation, said Macha Venkateshwarlu, State secretary, Telangana Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham. Notices of award compensation were served on several farmers in Kummarigudem village in Aswapuram mandal in an arbitrary manner without taking the views of the latter into account, he lamented.

In several villages in Charla and Dummugudem Agency mandals, the gram sabhas were conducted in a hurried manner without giving due publicity and clarity over the measures to be taken for addressing the concerns of the local farmers, he alleged. The provisions of the PESA must be adhered to strictly before acquiring the lands for the project and adequate compensation as well as a job be given to each affected family, Mr Venkateshwarlu demanded.

When contacted, Additional Collector K. Venkateshwarlu said the process of acquiring lands for the project is under way in strict compliance with the regulations to expeditiously construct the multi-purpose project. Gram sabhas were conducted before the outbreak of the second wave of the pandemic in almost all the villages in Charla and other mandals, he said, adding that awards for compensation were approved as per the LA Act-2013 in Aswapuram mandal.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 9:53:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/plea-to-acquire-land-for-sitammasagar-as-per-pesa-act/article34745010.ece

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