Andhra Pradesh

Veligonda project oustees demand a better deal

 Delay costs dear:  Pula Subbaiah Veligonda project, the dream project of the people of  fluoride-affected Prakasam district, in progress.

Delay costs dear: Pula Subbaiah Veligonda project, the dream project of the people of fluoride-affected Prakasam district, in progress.

Over 7,000 people from Sunkesula and 10 other neighbouring villages in Prakasam district agreed to part with land at a very low price in 2006 expecting to get safe drinking water from the Veligonda project as they have been suffering from persistent fluoride problem. Now, they are not in a position to buy an equal extent of land or construct a house at the rate of ₹60,000 to ₹90,000 per acre and ₹50,000 per housing unit after a decade lapsed under the outdated Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

The oustees are gearing up for a big struggle seeking enhanced compensation as per the 2013 Land Acquisition Act enacted by Parliament and the new rehabilitation and resettlement policy brought out by the Centre, says Veligonda Project Oustees Committee convenor Galli Venkatram Reddy. “We will go on ‘Amaravati Chalo’ programme soon seeking a better deal for the displaced people,” he adds.

Resurvey

The government should conduct a resurvey to identify more persons who have become eligible to get compensation as the last survey was done more than a decade ago, insists V. Chenna Reddy from Gotipadia village which will be submerged along with 10 other surrounding villages to form Nallamala Sagar as and when Krishna water is drawn from Srisailam through two giant tunnels.

More than 2,000 persons who were minors then, are now eligible for compensation, A. Nagi Reddy says, who expects an improved compensation package similar to the ones provided for those displaced by the Polavaram and Vamsadhara projects.

Better package

Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary P. Anjaneyulu, who had led many struggles in support of the oustees, says the displaced people deserve a better package from the government which has increased the cost of the ₹5,150 crore Pula Subbaiah Veligonda Project to about ₹7,800 crore for the benefit of the contractor concerned as the project suffered time and cost overruns. It is unfortunate that the government has ignored the displaced people, he adds.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 1:07:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/veligonda-project-oustees-demand-a-fair-deal/article20731118.ece