Amaravati farmers resist Jagan's housing for poor plan

Amaravati farmers resist Jaganmohan Reddy's housing for poor plan in their farmlands

Jaganmohan Reddy file photo (DH Photo)

The agitating Amaravati farmers are now resisting the Jaganmohan Reddy government's proposal to allot their lands for a housing scheme for the poor.

Locals of Krishnayapalem, etc. villages, who are fretted over depreciation of their land value since Reddy's move to shift the executive capital to Visakhapatnam, are now brooded that a project like poor section housing would make their realty even more insignificant.

On Wednesday, an attempt by the revenue officials to survey the lands at Krishnayapalem for the purpose was met with resistance. The villagers obstructed Duggirala Tehsildar K Malleswary for few hours following which she complained to the police, identifying 26 people and stating presence of 400 more, including several women.

Speaking to DH, Mangalagiri Rural police inspector Seshagiri Rao said that they have filed a case against the 400 odd locals under sections related to obstructing government officials from carrying out their duties.

The Amaravati capital area as named by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government is in protest mode since December 17 when Reddy unveiled his three-capital plan, effectively demoting the region from a grand world class capital status.

In 2015, farmers of 29 villages constituting Amaravati gave 33,000 acres for the capital.

“The stated purpose for which our lands were pooled by the previous government was for a mega capital to help the state’s growth. How can the present government arbitrarily alter it now?” questions Ashok Kumar M of Krishnayapalem.

For every acre given by the farmers, Naidu government had offered a 1000 square yard residential and 250 or 450 square yard commercial plot based on its fertility. Annuity for farm income loss was also provided.

Locals say that though they have been given the registered plots, development with roads, drainage etc. facilities as promised were not completed.     

“We are not against the poor. However, we parted with our lands expecting returns like our area’s growth with good infrastructure and jobs for our kids in enterprises, education institutions that were planned to come here,” says Kumar, whose family gave 10 acres.

“Land prices here have already plunged. Now, who would come to buy our plots if they are adjacent to a weaker section housing area,” a farmer who wants to be anonymous remarks.

Krishnayapalem farmers say their lands near Krishna River were worth about Rs 1.5 crore an acre before declaration of Amaravati as capital.

Saturday was the 67th day of the Amaravati agitation.

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