Relief eludes manyPolavaram evacuees

‘Will vacate villages only after we get a fair deal’

December 26, 2017 01:05 am | Updated 01:05 am IST - DEVIPATNAM (East Godavari)

Air of uncertainty:  Gonduru village in Devipatnam mandal which faces submergence.

Air of uncertainty: Gonduru village in Devipatnam mandal which faces submergence.

Tribal evacuees subjected to submergence under the Polavaram major irrigation project have not received their share of compensation under the Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) package even after one decade, though they are ready to vacate their villages.

The evacuees are residing on the left bank of the Akhanda Godavari and the villages include Angaluru, P. Gonduru and Nelakota in P. Gonduru panchayat limits, Nagallapalli, Varasanapadu, Bodugudem and Ravilanka in A. Vemavaram panchayat. There are allegations of large-scale misappropriation in the first phase compensation.

Complete relocation of residents of Angaluru and Nelakota was done on the ground but as per government records, the process, including payment of compensation, was completed in five villages, and officials are trying to vacate P. Gonduru and Nagallapalli villages, home to the Kondareddy, Koyadora and Kondakammara tribes.

The compensation amount has increased manifold as is evident from the fact that the government paid ₹70,000 per house earlier and now it is required to pay ₹4 lakh per unit.

The R and R package is applicable to all the tribals who complete 18 years of age and in the last one decade, the number of eligible youth has gone up.

There have been glaring irregularities in P. Gonduru and Nagallapalli villages, where the details of the land at the ground level are at variance with the entries made in pattadar passbooks. Another allegation is that some officials have taken thumb impressions of villagers without paying compensation.

“The officials have taken my thumb impression, but they have not paid compensation for my 2.20 acres,” alleged N. Appanna Dora of P. Gonduru.

The tribal people have made it clear that they will not vacate their villages until compensation is paid in line with the 2013 land acquisition Act.

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