Stiff opposition to Pranahita project

ADILABAD,AP,11/06/2014;A farmer family crosses the Pranahita river close to the Pranahita-Chevella project barrage site.-PHOTO: S. HARPAL SINGH   | Photo Credit: S_ HARPAL SINGH

The Telangana government’s keenness to acquire national status for the mega lift irrigation scheme, Pranahita project, may not come to fruition given the opposition from people whose land could be submerged in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra.

A team of Pranahita project engineering officials from Adilabad district, which visited the proposed barrage site for conducting geo-technical surveys across the border, was obstructed and given a stern warning by locals not to enter their territory.

The incident, which took place in May, came to light only recently though officials who were threatened with dire consequences by villagers in Maharashtra reported it to their superiors. According to sources, villagers objected to the survey, contending that the mega project envisages submergence in Maharashtra while all the benefit accrues to Andhra (Telangana was two days away from formation on that day).

“Are you from Andhra?” was the question posed to the Maharashtra Engineering team by villagers from Shivni in Gond Pimpri taluk of Chandrapur and Kungadmal of Gadchiroli district, sources recalled.

“Their team was also warned of dire consequences if they helped us,” added a member of the Adilabad team.

“We tried in vain to explain to the angry villagers that this was only a proposed site for the barrage. We also wanted to tell them about the quantum of compensation but to no avail,” another member said, on conditions of anonymity.

The team also faced a barrage of questions from villagers in Gundaipet in Kutala mandal of Adilabad district on their return journey.

“When you stopped survey work in Maharashtra, why are you continuing it here,” the villagers are reported to have argued.

“Acquiring national status should be preceded with pacifying people from the 8 villages in Maharashtra which are at the risk of losing nearly 1,700 acres of land. The government should take up the issue in consultation with Chief Secretaries, Irrigation Ministers of both States and Collectors of Adilabad, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli,” a senior Irrigation official suggested.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 3:06:27 PM |

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