In a plan to redesign the irrigation projects and introduce industrial projects, the government of Telangana plans to acquire 22,000 acres of agriculture land. These schemes of the government will be put to test, as the farmers are set to agitate and create a mass movement reminiscent of Nandigram in West Bengal.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao led government’s plan is to acquire 22,00 acre land for Mallannasagar reservoir near Kumaravalli town, and an additional 15,000 acre for Kondapochamma reservoir to be built near Gajwel. If this is not enough, Medak will lose out another 25,000 acre land for National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) displacing 31 villages near Zaheerabad.
The farmers under the leadership of M Kodanda Reddy lament that while no compensation is being discussed before deciding o acquire nearly one lakh acres of rich agricultural land, such a move to take over farming land in itself is questionable. People of Togata and Kondapaka mandals who will be displaced by Mallannasagar reservoir are concerned that the government is not looking into their pleas for rehabilitation and resettlement under the Land Acquisition Act 2013, and it has formulated a new policy calling the whole exercise land procurement – and according to the GO Ms 123, it has fixed the price for a acre at 5.80 lakh. Under land acquisition it has to be four times the market value, according to which the government has to pay Rs 24 lakh as the market value per acre is Rs 6 lakh. The need for a huge reservoir in the area with a capacity of 50 tmcft water is also being questioned.
While the farmers are gearing up for a tough fight, irrigation minister T Harish Rao representing the unfazed government says there is no going back on the project, and calls the agitation opposition party’s ploy.