Despite the repeated protest demonstrations by the project-displaced families from 21 villages demanding Resettlement and Rehabilitation according to new Land Acquisition act, 2013, the work pace of Vamsadhara Phase II project in Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh is underway with heavy security by Police personnel, while the demand being unaddressed. Reportedly, since August, on the orders of Superintendent of Police, Trivikram, 20 DSPs, 70 CIs, 150 SIs and 2000 constables are deployed in the project site. On Monday, nearly 14 persons were arrested who went in support of the protesting farmers.
In a letter to the Additional Director General of Police, CPIM state committee has condemned the implementation of Section 30 in the district and the arrest of democratically protesting activists. It said, “on September 18, District Secretary B. Krishnamurthi along with other activists were unlawfully arrested for standing with the victims of the project and false cases were booked on them.”
Recently, the High Court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh ruled in favour of the victims of Vamsadhara project in Hiramandal district. With a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kapavarapu Venkata Jagannadha Rao, Vice President, Human Rights Forum, the court found that standing crops in the project site were damaged and ordered the concerned officials to immediately compensate the farmers. The court also issued a notice to deputy collector Govardhan Rao for an explanation over the issue.
Speaking to Newsclick, Jagannadha Rao, said that as per the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, the victims are claiming legitimate compensation. As per the act, he said, “in cases where the land was acquired five years ago but no compensation has been paid or no possession has taken place, then the land acquisition process will be started afresh in accordance with the provisions of this act." He also added that the victims have all the rights to demand the implementation of the act.
In a press meet in August, District collector K Dhanunjay Reddy announced that Andhra Pradesh Government has sanctioned an additional 450 Crores for the resettlement and rehabilitation for the project displaced families and 3231 people are recognized under youth package. He claimed that the government has already compensated the farmers for the 11,697 acres of land collected for the project in 2006-07. He added that the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 cannot be considered for this particular project.
More than 300 victim families are considering to lead a collective fight in the High Court demanding the implementation of Land Acquisition Act, 2013 in order to claim a fair rehabilitation, sources said.
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