Villagers plead for better deal

Gudatipally villagers who are losing their lands under Gouravelli Reservoir staging a silent protest at their village on Saturday.

Gudatipally villagers who are losing their lands under Gouravelli Reservoir staging a silent protest at their village on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: MohdArif


Relay fast by Gudatipally villagers completes 600 days

“We are losing land for the second time. First time, our lands were acquired in 2009-10 and we used the compensation amount to reinvest in the balance of our holdings to improve it by digging wells and laying pipelines. Now, the government wants to acquire these lands too as it has increased the capacity of Gouravelli reservoir from 1.4 tmc ft to 8.4 tmc ft. We do not know what to do,” one of the land oustees in the village, Gurram Padma, said.

As many as 37 families of this village, in Akkennapally mandal, are on relay fast that began on July 12, 2016.

Symbolic protest

To mark the completion of 600 days of protest on Saturday, the villagers wore black badges and covered their mouths with black ribbons and continued with their protest.

The villagers believe that they would get additional compensation amount if they were paid under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act- 2013 (LA Act- 2013). In the previous award, they were paid ₹ 2.1 lakh per acre.

Poor value

“I lost four acres in the past and now another five acres is being acquired by the government. We cannot purchase lands with the compensation being offered by the government. If the government does not come to our rescue, who else will?” asks 60-year-old Anjeti Chandra Reddy, another farmer.

“We are moving around MRO, RDO and Collector’s offices almost every other week but our problems are not being addressed,” another farmer Baddam Raji Reddy said.

“When we ask for compensation, they are compelling us to hand over our land to the government saying that only then they will release the amount. Why is the government playing with our lives?” he asked pointing out that at least 300 persons from the village were yet to receive compensation for the land acquired eight years ago.

The government has to pay them their due compensation first, before proceeding with acquiring 350 acres that belongs to them, he added.

The villagers were against the increase in the capacity of the reservoir. About 2,200 acres were acquired in the village in 2009 and now the government is acquiring another 1,800 acres and with that, the entire village will get submerged.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 5:55:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/villagers-plead-for-better-deal/article22921228.ece

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