Farmers resist move to acquire land for highway

 thehindu.com  07/14/2020 16:37:57 

Farmers staging a protest against Greenfield highway at Basavapuram village of Khammam district on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: G_N_RAO

Tension prevailed at Basavapuram village in Chintakani mandal on Tuesday when a large group of local farmers put up stiff resistance to attempts by the Revenue department staff to conduct a survey near the village for land acquisition for the proposed Khammam-Devarapalli four-lane Greenfield highway.

Trouble broke out when the Revenue staff, accompanied by a large posse of police, arrived at Basavapuram crossroads to conduct the land survey earlier in the day. The aggrieved farmers, including several women from Raghavapuram, Kodumuru, Ramakrishnapuram and other nearby villages, staged a sit-in near Basavapuram in protest against the attempts to conduct a survey in their agricultural lands.

Leaders of the Left parties including the CPI (M) State secretariat member P Sudarshan Rao, CPI State assistant secretary K Sambasiva Rao and others rushed to the spot and extended their support to the farmers protest. A heated argument ensued between the protesters and the police as the farmers objected to the heavy deployment of police and a fire engine near Basavapuram.

B Sugunamma, an aggrieved woman farmer, gave vent to her feelings refusing to part ways with her four acre land at Basavapuram. We value our agricultural lands more than our lives and any attempts to take over our productive lands will cause irreparable loss to us, she deplored. How I can feed my four daughters after losing the fertile land, the only source of our livelihood, she asked, opposing any move to forcibly acquire their lands.

She wanted the authorities to change the alignment of the Greenfield highway project to avert loss of productive farm lands. A section of local farmers sought adequate compensation on a par with the amount paid to the land oustees of the proposed new Collectorate building project and also farm lands as part of the compensation package. The leaders of some farmers organisations wanted the authorities to sanction highest market value for the lands to be acquired for the project. The protesters called off their stir late in the afternoon following an assurance by the Revenue authorities to represent their demands to the higher ups.

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