Andhra Pradesh

Farmers divided over CM’s package

Dasari Sambasiva Rao, a farmer, is worried over the prospect of losing his fertile land at Rayapudi village in Guntur District. Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

Dasari Sambasiva Rao, a farmer, is worried over the prospect of losing his fertile land at Rayapudi village in Guntur District. Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar   | Photo Credit: T VIJAYA KUMAR

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Upland farmers elated, while those from river front villages oppose the policy. Farmers of river front villages, who have been opposing land pooling, say they do not trust the Chief Minister who had not implemented the promise of waiving of farm loans.

The road leading to the village is littered with shreds of paper. Buoyed by the land pooling package announced by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday, farmers in the upland villages burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.

“We are happy with the package which promises a 1,000 sq.yard residential plot along with 200 sq.yards of commercial plot. In just a month, we have witnessed many developments that changed the face of our village,” says M. Venkaiah, a local businessman.

The revenue and survey teams have started clearing all pending disputes over land on a war footing. Teams led by Joint Collector Ch. Sridhar are giving final touches to computerised database of revenue records.

Ever since the mandal was identified for first phase of land pooling a month ago, it set off a real estate frenzy. Farmers began selling their lands at exorbitant prices to developers. Though the real estate frenzy is beginning to subside, local people are hopeful that the region is set for a major facelift.

Signature campaign

Meanwhile, farmers in river front villages continue to oppose any plans to acquire their fertile lands. Over 1,000 farmers of Rayapudi and other neighbouring villages have undertaken a signature campaign led by primary agricultural cooperative society president Mallela Harindranath Chowdary, confirming that they would not part with their lands. The farmers said they would approach the courts if necessary.

“I have just one acre of land on which my four sons and their families depend for a living. The thought of losing my land is distressing. What is the use of the package as I all get is 1,000 sq.yards of plot,” says Dasari Sambasiva Rao, a farmer. Echoing similar feelings is another farmer Alaparthi Venkateswara Rao, who owns five acres of banana and lime plantations. In the fertile land abutting the river, farmers grow three crops a year using modern drip irrigation. Don’t trust the CM

Farmers of river front villages, who have been opposing land pooling, say they do not trust the Chief Minister who had not implemented the promise of waiving of farm loans.

“How can we believe the CM who has not kept his promise of waiving of all crop loans even after six months? Had he implemented the promised loan waiver at one go we would have been the first to part with our lands, but now we do not trust him and regret having brought TDP back to power,” rues Venkateswara Rao, another farmer.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 1:36:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/farmers-divided-over-cms-package/article6676850.ece

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