Facing a threat of submersion due to the rising backwaters of the Gandikota project, hundreds of people from submersible villages continued the blockade on the Renigunta-Tadpatri national highway at Chowtapalle in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh for the second day on Wednesday.
Braving the chill, the protesters cooked food on the national highway, dined and slept there on Tuesday. They continued to squat on the highway on Wednesday, demanding the disbursal of a compensation of Rs. 6.75 lakh to each of the 1,500 families in six villages — Chowtapalle, Bommaipalle, Duruvu, Galluru, Seethapuram and Obannapet — considering 2016 as the cut-off date.
Police have been diverting traffic towards Tadpatri via Muddanur and Jammalamadugu since Tuesday morning.
The release of water from the Srisailam Reservoir Right Bank Canal to the Pydipalem reservoir for a fortnight has led to the rise in the water level of the Gandikota reservoir. This has left 22 villages under the threat of inundation by the backwaters. Bommaipalle village has remained water-logged for a fortnight. People have been using catamarans to move in and out of the village.
With the breaching of the mud bunds put up to avert inundation of the Chowtapalle village, water entered the mortar-built houses.
Led by Human Rights Forum district convenor K. Jayasri and Kadapa district Saguneeti Sadhana Samithi convenor D. Chandramouleeswara Reddy, A.P. Congress Committee Secretary S.A. Sattar and CPI(M) leader Sivanarayana, the villagers demanded instant disbursal of compensation.
The villagers contended that water had been released in the Gandikota reservoir without paying compensation to them. The government was trying to dupe them, they alleged.