ANDHRA PRADESH

Bhogapuram: ryots yet again stop survey bid

One more attempt by the authorities to resume the survey of land for the greenfield international airport proposed in Bhogapuram mandal failed again on Thursday, as a group of farmers, including women, blocked the way of Vizianagaram Revenue Divisional Officer S. Srinivasa Murty’s vehicle at Kavulavada.

The RDO, who went to assist the three-member RITES team in surveying the land, was held up for an hour as the farmer squatting on the road refused to allow the vehicle into their village, despite the presence of a posse of police personnel.

The earlier attempts of the officials to survey the land did not fructify as the farmers have been agitating against the move since the draft notification for the land acquisition was issued on September 1. Some farmers have already filed pleas before the High Court, challenging the acquisition notification.

The government could not acquire land without getting the requirements of consent and conducting Social Impact Assessment, as the land ordinance promulgated by the Centre which had relaxed the norms expired on August 31, the farmers claimed in their pleas.

Then the High Court issued an interim order directing the government to file a counter-affidavit.

On Friday last, the High Court extended the time given to the govt. to file counter-affidavit by 10 days. “The officials can’t survey the land as the government is yet to file the counter-affidavit,” the agitators said on Friday.

The RDO then invited the farmers for a talk in his chambers here on Friday.

“We have got no specific direction from the HC on land survey. Hence, as scheduled, the RITES resumed survey after the Dasara vacations,” the RDO said.