Riverfront villages reeling under fear of forceful land acquisition in AP

Riverfront villages reeling under fear of forceful land acquisition in AP
Highlights

Riverfront Villages Reeling Under Fear of Forceful Land Acquisition in AP. The farmers of the five villages that constitute the (Krishna) river front of the Singapore type state capital to be built by the residual state of Andhra Pradesh are living in a state of fear with the state government declaring that lands of those who are not willing for pooling will be acquired through acquisition.

UNDAVALLI (Guntur district, AP): The farmers of the five villages that constitute the (Krishna) river front of the Singapore type state capital to be built by the residual state of Andhra Pradesh are living in a state of fear with the state government declaring that lands of those who are not willing for pooling will be acquired through acquisition.

In all the Andhra Pradesh government has pooled 30,000 acres from 29 villages that come under the jurisdiction of the Capital Area Development Authority (CRDA) by 28 February, and is planning to gather the remaining 17,000 acres through acquisition.

“We have no other way than committing suicide as we are not aware of any other occupation than farming. The government which has assured that the process will be voluntary is now saying that the will take away land through acquisition,” a small farmer Vijayagouri rued. Vijayagouri owns 1.5 acres of land in Penumaka village few kilometers from here and earns enough to take care of her family.

The farmers, tenant farmers and farm workers in the villages of Undavalli, Penumaka, Yerrabalem and Nidamarru find work round the year as there is plenty of water in the river bed and the villages are very close to major markets in Vijayawada and Guntur cities. The farmers grow flowers, turmeric, pulses, bananas, sweet corn and almost every conceivable crop in the vast lands on the river front, where the government is planning to build a city.

“The Government has posted police men in each street of these villages where majority of farmers have refused to give their lands for land pooling. Farmers are not allowed to go and take care of the nurseries during night time," Ankireddy of Penumaka said. Farmers like him are now worried that the government will now take away their lands with a simple notification with the help of the recent central ordinance.

Yet another lady tenant farmer Mrs. Mastanamma said that she earns enough to pay Rs 30,000 per crop per acre to the land owner. “I have leased 2 acres and able to pay the rent and also educate my two children in schools,” a confident Mastanamma said. But she is not sure what she would do once the land is taken away by the equally determined government.

Many farmers such as Girija Rani with small holding won’t see the logic behind taking away fertile lands from them in the name of land pooling. “Ask chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu to give another chance, all the farmers who gave consent letters will take them back. He is afraid and hasn’t set his foot here in the past six months,” a very angry Girija Rani said. The general feeling in these villages is that the government has received consent letters from only 5000 farmers and they have inflated the figure to induce more farmers.

However, not everyone is against the process of land polling as the government assured them developed land in return to the land they handed over to the government but after a decade. “I am sure of getting Rs 3 cr by that time for the 2 acres I have surrendered now. The misguided farmers are opting legal recourse which might prove costly to them,” said Dasari Krishna who is one among those farmers that believe in Naidu and his ability to fight odds.

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