Uneasy calm near Vamsadhara

Policemen on duty near Hiramandalam in Srikakulam district on Wednesday.

Policemen on duty near Hiramandalam in Srikakulam district on Wednesday.

Heavy police force has been deployed in Hiramandalam and its surrounding areas to avoid untoward incidents at the Vamsadhara reservoir area, where protests have become the order of the day with people displaced by the project seeking payment of compensation as per the Land Acquisition Act of 2013.

Policemen numbering 2,000, who include personnel of the ranks of DSP, CI, and SI, have been kept on vigil in the sensitive areas.

Superintendent of Police C.M. Trivikram Varma is monitoring the situation. He has directed the officials to be vigilant round the clock and maintain maximum restraint. Drones are also being put to use. The displaced are not happy with the compensation offered and paid by the government. According to them, the government offered to pay up to ₹1.5 lakh for construction of houses and a little more for their lands and structures.

They are insisting on payment of compensation as per the new Act, which has helped the farmers displaced by the proposed airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district and the nuclear power plant at Kovvada in Srikakulam district receive huge amounts.

The government offered ₹18 lakh per acre for the displaced in Kovvada and ₹32 lakh per acre for those in Bhoagapuram.

High Court verdict

Officials, however, say the new Act is not applicable in the case of the Vamsadhara-displaced as 90% of the payments have already been made.

Joint Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu told The Hindu that the High Court too, in its judgment, made it clear that the new Act could not be applied as the land had been acquired in 2005-06. “The government has helped almost all the displaced families by implementing a youth package under which every major received up to ₹5 lakh. We have requested the villagers to shift to the Vamsadhara colonies, where basic civic infrastructure has been created,” he added.

Collector K. Dhanunjaya Reddy held talks with the villagers several times and sought their cooperation for the construction of the project as it would benefit thousands of farmers and irrigate two lakh acres additionally.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties plan to stage protest seeking justice to the farmers.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 7:54:08 pm |