Hyderabad: Opposing the Telangana government’s move to acquire agricultural lands assigned to them to set up an industrial park, farmers in Veliminedu village of Chityal mandal of the state’s Nalgonda district have been holding protests for the last one week. Farmers are demanding the government to acquire the private land in the region instead of their assigned land.
Earlier this month, district revenue department officials served notices to 62 farmers in Veliminedu village stating that their land will be acquired for the construction of an industrial park by the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited (TSIIC). According to the officials, TSIIC will set up the proposed project in 123 acres of land in survey number 418 at Veliminedu of which 64 acres is assigned land and the remaining is government land.
B. Venkat, general secretary of the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU), said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is attempting to forcefully acquire the assigned lands on which the rightful owners have been cultivating for the last five decades. Venkat, along with Communist Party of India (Marxist) Nalgonda district members joined the farmers’ protest in Veliminedu on Sunday, September 13.
“It is unconstitutional and anti-poor on part of the government to acquire assigned lands. About 22 lakh families belonging to scheduled castes, tribes and backward castes in Telangana have been assigned lands since Independence by successive governments as a result of people’s struggles. As per the laws, the owners of assigned lands cannot sell their land to others. However, the TRS government is on a spree to acquire assigned lands in the name of development projects,” Venkat said, while adding that the left parties will fight against forceful acquisition.
Left parties have also staged several protests in the district against rapid industrialisation which has allegedly caused health problems in villages surrounding chemical and pharmaceutical plants.
Last week, Veliminedu farmers along with their families conducted Vanta Varpu (cooking on road as agitation) in front of Revenue Division Office in Nalgonda to mark their protest. Reportedly, a delegation of farmers have also submitted a memorandum to district revenue department officials stating their denial to land acquisition.
Meanwhile, officials are going ahead with the acquisition and are claiming that the farmers will be compensated.
Arori Manemma, a woman farmer who is one of the victim farmers, said that the farmers have been cultivating on the lands assigned to them for the last five decades and urged the government to consider acquiring private land in the region instead of their assigned land.
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