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Farmers from Manchippa object to redesign of Manchippa Reservoir

The new design would leave 12,000 people homeless, say villagers urging government to follow the old design

January 21, 2023 08:13 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:02 am IST - HYDERABAD

The farmers of Manchippa and surrounding villages in Nizamabad district holding a protest at Manchippa.

The farmers of Manchippa and surrounding villages in Nizamabad district holding a protest at Manchippa. | Photo Credit: K.V. Ramana

The farmers of Manchippa and surrounding villages in Nizamabad district are on tenterhooks for the past few weeks as the Manchippa Reservoir works are progressing at a fast pace and there is no clarity on whether the reservoir is being constructed based on old design or new design.

According to villagers, Punnamcheruvu project was designed with 0.375 tmcft under Pranahita-Chevella during the tenure of late Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y. S. Rajashekhara Reddy. Already some 150 acres were acquired by the government then itself by offering a compensation of ₹4 lakh per acre.

After the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) came to power in 2014, the project was redesigned with a capacity of 3.5 tmcft combining Punnacheruvu and its neighbouring Pedda Cheruvu and it was renamed as Manchippa-Kondacheruvu project. The project is being taken up under Package 21 of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP).

Villagers say that under the new design Manchippa and two adjacent tandas, Amrabad panchayat and another four tandas, Bailapur panchayat and three tandas would be totally submerged under the project. This would result in 12,000 persons being forced to leave their villages and become homeless.

“In addition to these villages and tandas, 1,200 acres of farm land and 800 acres forest land would be totally inundated. The redesign is expected to cost about ₹3,500 crore to the exchequer whereas the old design was proposed at a cost of ₹1,100 crore for an ayacut of 1.8 lakh acres. Further, additional ayacut that comes into existence under the new design is only 16,000 acres. We are requesting the government to follow the old design and save our lives,” Bhupathi a farmer from one of the villages facing submergence told The Hindu.

The villagers have alleged that two persons were arrested by the police on Friday when they held protest demanding that the authorities clarify whether the project was being constructed under old design or new one as the officials are claiming that it is being taken up based on old design whereas in online search the project is showing new design. Cases were reportedly registered against 10 other farmers who participated in the agitation. Some of the villagers are reported to have switched off their cellphones fearing the police.

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