Andhra Pradesh

Farmers protest against illegal excavation of shrimp ponds

AMALAPURAM: Farmers under the banner of “Akrama Aqua Saagu Vyathireka Porata Committee” staged a dharna here protesting against illegal excavation of shrimp ponds in the Konaseema region. Hundreds of farmers from affected villages gathered at the RDO office on Monday and shouted slogans against the illegal digging of aqua ponds.

The protesters said that the number of aqua ponds was increasing in Konaseema and alleged that fertile lands were becoming saline due to the illegal digging of shrimp ponds. Salt water mixed with chemicals was being released into agriculture canals resulting in a steep decline in yield, they alleged. Salt water cultivation was being taken up after getting permission for fresh water cultivation, they complained. Agriculture workers were migrating to other places due to lack of work because of aquaculture, they said.

Students affected

The protesters alleged that groundwater was being contaminated because of digging of shrimp ponds close to residential areas and people were forced to buy drinking water from private suppliers. Further, students were not able to concentrate on studies due to the sounds coming from big generators used for the ponds, they said.

The landlords encroached even canal bunds belonging to the R&B and PWD and were releasing contaminated water into agriculture canals due to lack of drainage system. They alleged that there were no effluent treatment plants for shrimp ponds.

Agriculture Workers’ Union State president Dadala Subba Rao, secretary T. Kranthi, State secretary of Rythu Sangham P. Peddi Reddy, district secretary and president of the agriculture workers’ union K.S. Srinivas and Karem Venkateswara Rao respectively, district secretary of Tenant Farmers’ Union M. Rajasekhar, division secretary P. Vasantha Kumar, and dalit leaders Janga Babu Rao, Bomma Ezra, Nathi Srinu and Srinivas were present on the occasion.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 6:44:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Farmers-protest-against-illegal-excavation-of-shrimp-ponds/article17118508.ece

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