Farmers hit by Amaravati, Polavaram meet Pawan Kalyan, seek his support

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The farmers of the capital area, Amaravati and the displaced ones from the Polavaram project met Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan in Hyderabad on Wednesday and sought his support against the forcible acquisition of their lands by the AP Government. The farmers requested the Jana Sena president to take up their issue and ensure that their rights are protected and their demands are met.

The farmers from the new capital area, particularly the Scheduled Caste farmers from Uddandarayunipalem, Lingayapalem, Tallayapalem, Mandadam, Rayapudi, Borupalem, Undavalli and Velagapudi villages complained that the government was taking away their assigned lands in the name of capital. They said that the government had promised Rs 50,000 compensation per acre a year for next 10 years and 1450 square yards of land for rich farmers whereas it was just 600 square yards for them. They informed the Jana Sena chief that the government had given these lands in 1954 and 1974 which are now being taken away by force.

The farmers alleged that the government was discriminating them in land pooling and compensation in the new capital area. They said the Dalit farmers were hit twice by the government action. First, the farmers’ lands had been taken away rendering them jobless and now the government was denying them their right to live in the new capital. They also sought to impress upon the Jana Sena chief that the government was also taking away their homes in the name of road widening for the new capital.

The farmers of Mulalanka habitation of Polavaram village where the government is constructing the major irrigation project also complained to Pawan Kalyan that their lands are being used as dumping yard for the project. The 207 acres of land in the village belongs to 148 small and medium farmers. The project contractor was filling these lands with the earth removed for the project without their consent. They said that they have brought the issue to the notice of the Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and the local Collector without any success.  Officials were not considering their request to leave their fertile lands and desist from using the lands as a dumping yard.

Reacting to their requests, Pawan Kalyan said that he was for development of the State and welfare of the people. He said that the government has to balance both the development and the welfare by protecting the rights of the people. Stating that Indian society is built on castes, he feared that some of the decisions taken by the governments would lead to caste conflicts in the society. He wanted the governments to be cautious on taking such decisions that displace more people or a particular caste in the name of development.

The Jana Sena chief said that he would discuss with the party leaders about the representations given by the farmers of both the places and take a decision. He said that the Jana Sena would soon respond to the requests of the farmers of Amaravati and Polavaram.

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