Gouravelli reservoir expansion meets roadblock

Farmers unwilling to part with land for the second time, fear loss of livelihood

December 28, 2017 11:21 pm | Updated 11:21 pm IST - SIDDIPET

After Mallannasagar, it is the construction of Gouravelli reservoir in Husnabad mandal which has become a complex problem for the government.

The government proposes to increase the capacity of the reservoir from the earlier 1.4 tmcft to 8.23 tmcft, which has increased the area under submergence and the government requires as much as 1,967.18 acres of land for the reservoir in addition to the land already acquired. Of this, 702 acres was already acquired after getting consent from the land owners under Section 120 of LA Act – 2017. For another 258 acres, the farmers are reluctant to surrender lands under LA Act 2017 and are demanding implementation of LA Act – 2013. The remaining is government land, which is already available.

The villagers are in protest and observing relay fast for the past 535 days, beginning from July 12, 2016. Demanding implementation of the LA Act - 2013 some of the farmers already approached the High Court forcing the officials to follow the guidelines as per the Act. Their main contention was that they were losing land for the second time and hence it would loss of livelihood for them as they would become landless.

The administration held a grama sabha in Gouravelli village on Wednesday which witnessed some tension movements. Grama Sabha is mandatory for publication of declaration to acquire land. According to Revenue Divisional Officer K. Shankar Kumar, they had issued notices under Section 11 (1) of LA Act – 2013 about 20 days back and then held the grama sabha, explaining the need for increasing the capacity.

“About 10 farmers had spoken in the grama sabha. The villagers are demanding not to increase the capacity of the reservoir stating that they had lost land in the previous acquisition and would lose the remaining in the second acquisition. They want the compensation hiked to ₹ 12.5 lakh. However, as the subject under grama sabha was meant for explaining about the reservoir we confined to that matter only,” Mr. Shankar told The Hindu .

“The grama sabha was wound up abruptly. We demand that the government organise grama sabha with one-month notice for all the villages being hit by the reservoir,” said B. Shankar Reddy, a farmer from Gudatipally village in Husnabad mandal.

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