ANDHRA PRADESH

Congress MLA sits on railway track in support of poor

Public wrath: Displaced families place debris on the railway track to detain trains at Anantapur on Wednesday.

Public wrath: Displaced families place debris on the railway track to detain trains at Anantapur on Wednesday.  

Staff Reporter

In protest against removal of encroachments

ANANTAPUR: For a change, the ruling party legislator B. Narayana Reddy staged a protest in support of the poor by sitting on the railway track for more than two hours here on Wednesday. The protest was against removal of encroachments, thatched constructions of the poor on the land along the railway tracks in Kovvur Nagar, by the railway officials on Wednesday morning.

The legislator’s protest detained the Mysore-Jaipur Express train for more than 90 minutes near the railway station here. Railway officials armed with an earthmover demolished 159 thatched houses constructed illegally along the railway tracks in the early hours, in spite of some resistance from the occupants.

Activists of the town unit of CPI(M) had been protesting for the last three days against the plans of railway officials to clear the encroachments. The legislator arrived on the site around 11 am along with his supporters and sat in a chair placed on the tracks. The displaced families joined him later. They even placed some debris on the tracks to prevent movement of trains.

Assurance

The legislator demanded the railway officials to allow the poor to stay on at the site so that at least the State Government would make alternative arrangements for them. He called off his protest after he received a phone call from MP A. Venkatarami Reddy from New Delhi assuring a solution to the problem within a few days.

Town secretary of CPI(M) V. Rambhupal said the poor were living there for decades and a survey was conducted in 1992 to relocate them by promising alternative house sites. However, they were not shown alternative house sites so far, he alleged.

The railway officials had also demolished another 150 such houses along the tracks in Krupananda Nagar a fortnight ago, in spite of the protest, he said.



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