An uneasy calm prevails in many villages of Hiramandalam, L.N. Peta and Kotturu mandals, which are affected by Phase-2 of the Vamsadhara project.
The police have been on high alert in sensitive areas to prevent violence, although the situation is said to be under control. The police, who do not want to take any chances, continued the deployment of personnel in many villages. Senior police officials said the deployment would continue till normality was restored in all the three mandals.
Following violence on January 22, the State government announced a series of measures to pacify the villagers, who had been insisting on being paid compensation before the project work had been taken up.
Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and Labour Minister K. Atchannaidu, who toured the villages, promised to make payments by January 31. However, many grievances were yet to be settled in the villages.
In this background, the government had appointed 19 special teams to listen to the grievances of the displaced persons. It had released around ₹ 193 crore extra, apart from the ₹ 420 crore released earlier. The government also released ₹ 5 lakh to each eligible youngster under the Youth Package. Srikakulam Joint Collector Chakrdhar Babu told The Hindu that only 156 cases of displaced persons were yet to be settled and that the other issues were resolved long ago.
He said the villagers welcomed the youth package since it would ensure livelihood for all the eligible youngsters.
“We are trying to settle disputes permanently with the support of Lok Adalat. Many farmers have agreed to attend the National Lok Adalat on February 11. The project works would continue as usual as a majority of the farmers are happy with the latest announcements of the government,” he added.
Minister for Civil Supplies and In-charge of Srikakulam district Paritala Sunitha, who reviewed the issues on Saturday, asked the residents not to be misled by the Opposition parties. “For the first time, the government is extending youth package, which was not implemented anywhere in India. It indicates the government’s concern for the lives of all the displaced persons. We request all the people to cooperate in the construction of the project which would irrigate over 2 lakh acres and benefit entire Srikakulam district,” she added.