Even as the government is getting ready to complete the construction of Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) colony houses at Mutrajpally, some of the land owners of this village, now part of Gajwel Municipality, have refused to allow government to resume their land.
The government has taken up construction of some 2500 houses in the R&R Colony at Mutrajpally for the oustees from different villages that are ready to get submerged under Mallannasagar, part of larger Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, being constructed with a capacity of 50 tmcft. The government had already acquired 450 acres in the past and recently issued notification for acquisition of another 102 acres for the same purpose.
A notification was issued under Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act – 2013 (LA Act – 2013) on January 31, 2021. In the notification it was also stated that the process of land acquisition was exempted from social impact assessment (acquiring of public opinion) and food security according to 10- A by Irrigation and Command Area Development (CAD) vide G.O. 35, dated 30.06.2017.
In a Gram Sabha held on Monday at Gajwel, the farmers openly expressed their objections and passed a resolution against allowing the government to acquire their lands and they handed over a copy of the resolution to the officials present there.
“Why is G.O. 35, that excludes conduct of a social impact assesment and payment of any compensation to the persons displaced under Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, applied to us when it was not applicable to the persons who are actually displaced by the Mallannasagar, a part of the Kaleshwaram Project?” asked a farmer. “Why should we be asked to vacate our lands to help the government fulfil its responsibility of building an R&R Colony which it is exempted from under the G.O. 35 and why is conduct of Social Impact Assessment not applicable for us as construction of houses was part of Kaleswaram Project?” he asked. The farmer also pointed out that a case was still pending with the court on whether the land was government or patta land and that the authorities had yet to give a clarification on it.
Will the farmers of Lingarajupet be left with any land once their land was acquired by government, the farmer asked and demanded that the social impact assessment be conducted.
“Chief Minister promised to give land to those who are landless. Now the government is acquiring lands. We are not giving up our land come what may,” said another farmer. Some other farmers demanded that they should be paid a package if their lands were acquired.
Revenue Divisional Officer Vijayender Reddy and others were present in the Gram Sabha.