THE PEDDERU, URAKAGADDA AND TARAKARAMA DISPLACED TRIBALS¡¦ STRUGGLE

http://india.indymedia.org/en/2003/06/5306.shtml

The Pedderu Reservoir is the medium type irrigation project under Construction on River Pedderu at Rayipalem in Jalampalle Panchayat of V.Madugula Mandal of Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh. This project is being constructed with an estimated cost of 38 crores of Rupees with the financial assistance of NABARD.

THE PEDDERU, URAKAGADDA AND TARAKARAMA DISPLACED TRIBALS¡¦ STRUGGLE
APPEAL FOR SUPPORT
The Pedderu Reservoir is the medium type irrigation project under Construction on River Pedderu at Rayipalem in Jalampalle Panchayat of V.Madugula Mandal of Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh. This project is being constructed with an estimated cost of 38 crores of Rupees with the financial assistance of NABARD.
The Project Victims
It was identified that 188 persons would be displaced. In the plan of Rehabilitation, the displaced were defined as those losing lands and house. In the same plan, it was brought out that there were no project-affected persons who lose livelihood i.e., land alone. This is not at all true.
Consequent to acquisition of lands for the project in Kamakutam and Maddilapalem villages, the girijans of Goppulapalem village cultivating in those lands lost their livelihood. The officers did not need to identify them as project affected persons and extend them rehabilitation facilities. Besides, it was written in the report that there were no such persons at all.
Compensation for the Submerged Lands
It is estimated that consequent to the construction of this reservoir, 370.54 acres of land will be submerged of which 270.36 acres is patta land while 100.18 acres is government land.
Compensation is paid only to the girayat (private) lands acquired through Land Acquisition Act that too only for land acquired for construction of reservoir. But no compensation was paid till date for the lands submerged.
As per the stipulation in vogue at present, there is no scope for compensation for the ceiling surplus lands cultivated by tribals in Korramamidipalem, Rayipalem, Kumundaripeta, Goppuru, siripuram villages which extends to 188.16 acres.
As per the instructions vide G.O.N.S.No.1307 Revenue (Assignments) Department dt.23-12-1993, the government stated that compensation be paid to D.Form Patta Lands. But the officers contend that this G.O. is not applicable to surplus lands. For the girijans who are going to be displaced, there are no properties except these ceiling lands.
Delay in Land Acquisition
While the Construction works are progressing fast with NABARD funds, land acquisition and payment of compensation are done at a very slow pace. Without primary survey and payment of compensation, the cultivated lands of tribals are occupied at some places. For example the stones removed for construction of reservoir basement are thrown into the lands of Goppulapalem girijans. Neither survey was conducted nor the cultivators were given notice.
Disparities in Compensation:
As a result of reservoir construction works the rate of local lands went high. But the government fixed the rate of Rs. 19,000/- per acre for the lands of the displaced for land acquisition. Thereby the girijan ryot losing an acre is not in a position to buy even a quarter of an acre.
The Time-barred Survey
Details of the displaced were collected in 1993 i.e., 9 years ago. As the families grew in the displaced villages, particulars should be collected afresh.
Flawed Rehabilitation:
A program was devised for rehabilitation of the displaced with Rs 325 lakhs. In this Rs.14,000/- was allocated for construction of a house. With this meager amount it is impossible to build even a thatched house.
In this plan, funds are allocated for
1. Tentative maintenance expenses
2. Cattle maintenance
3. Transportation.
But these funds are transferred to house construction account. Instead of raising the amount of Rs14,000/- per house which is sufficient, transferring funds from other accounts tantamount to giving this way and taking the other way. And also till date no agricultureal ands were identified for allocating to the displaced.
The Committee without Representation of the Displaced
Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R.S.R) committee was formed as per the orders of the collector vide R.C.No.3602/2001/G1 dt. 23-2-2002. One Anganwadi worker belonging to the displaced village of Rayipalem (she is native of Pittagedda village) and the president of V.S.S. of the same village and Panchayat sarpanch were taken into the committee as members. But, unfortunately, they cannot face officers nor talk to them.
Irrigation Water through Left Canal
The girijan ryots residing at the left side of the Pedderu project have been asking for supply of irrigation water to the girijan villages for a long time through the left canal of the reservoir under construction. For the girijan villages at the left side of Pedderu, communication is cut when either Pedduru that side or Urakagedda the other sides is flooded. During those days they face hell for want of essential commodities, medical assistance etc. Owing to lack of transportation facilities they are unable to deliver their crops at the market in time.
If an aqueduct is constructed to divert the left canal beyond Pedderu, 100 acres of land can be brought under cultivation. If Aqueduct Bridge is formed, there will be transportation facilities too.
Efforts of Union
The Andhra Pradesh Agricultural workers union and Visakha Jilla Vyavasaya Coolie sangham have been striving for the cause of displaced since the beginning. With the encouragement of these associations, the displaced persons formed ¡§Pedderu Nirvasithula Samithi¡¨(Association of the displaced). Both these associations organized many agitation programmes. Under the leadership of A.P.V.V.U. the representatives of the peoples¡¦ organization met the Chief Minister Sri Nara Chandra Babu Naidu at the State Capital on 20-3-2001 and the Secretary, irrigation Sri Chakrapani, I.A.S. on 21-3-2002 and submitted their appeals.
The Girijan Padayatra
Demanding solution for their problems,a padayatra was conducted with 500 girijans from Pedderu Reservoir to Chodavaram Via Madugula. The girijans walked a distance of 33 Km from 9.00 A.M. to 7.30 P.M. and conducted Dhranas in front of the officers of E.E.Irrigation and Spl.Dy.Collector, Land Acquisition. On 11-4-2002 when the ministers Sri K.E.Krishna Mruty and Sri Chintakayala Ayyana Patrudu visited the reservoir for inspection, A.P.V.V.U submitted their appeal with the problems.
Consequent to storage of water as a part of reservoir construction works the lands of Korranamidipalem and Kumundanipeta villages submerged in water. While the Korramanidipalem village is totally vacated and they have come to the other side of the reservoir bund, some families from Kummandamipeta vacated the village. The girijans are seriously condemning the displacement without finishing the works of rehabilitation. The forest department is yet to arrive at the cost of the trees in the lands of the displaced. Under these circumstances, the Pedderu reservoir affected persons are making themselves ready for agitation.
Series of Agitations:
The project affected persons and the members of the left canal Sadhana Samithi joined under the A.P.V.V.U. leadership on 15-6-2002 and on 19-6-2002 and resolved to take up agitation programme. The people, peoples¡¦ associations and media are requested to extend their moral support to the justified cause of the girijans.
Hunger strike:
The displaced people had done satyagraha from 29.6.2002 to 12.7.2002(for a period of 14 days). Joint Collector visited the satyagraha and conducted review meeting with concerned departments on 12-7-02 and following are announced:
„h 83 house site pattas are handed over and instructed to completed their houses within three months.( construction is in progress after one year also)
„h Assured that the compensation for ceiling surplus lands and D-form patta lands will be paid on par with private patta lands.(so far compensation is not paid, and even the notices are not served to the people)
„h Ordered forest department to value the cost of the trees submerged in Maddulpalem village. (no valuation is done till date)
„h The file relating to compensation for house site and trees of tribals of Korramamidi palem and kumundanipeta is clared on the site. ( compensation paid in august ¡¥02)
„h Nineteen households of Goppulapalem village who lost their cultivating lands are sanctioned houses under IAY. (houses are sanctioned, but construction is not started yet)
„h Ordered Fisheries department to take steps towards registering a fisherman society with displaced tribals.( proposals were sent, and is in progress. The tribals are being trained)
„h The Special Deputy collector (land acquisition) of Pedderu reservoir is appointed as a liaison officer for monitoring of rehabilitation works. (In the last one year not even one meeting was conducted to review the progress)
Medha Patkar¡¦s Solidarity:
As part of Desh Bachao Desh Banao Campaign Medha Patakar visited Chodavaram and expressed her solidarity and called for justice for the displaced tribals. Also sent letter to District Collector during hunger strike appealing for re-dressal of grievances of the tribals.
Dharna:
On March 4th, 2003 a dharna was organised infront of Executive Engineer¡¦s office demanding the implementation of Joint collector¡¦s orders and promises issued on July 12th, 2002.
Urakagadda and Tarakarama Reservoirs:
These reservoirs are also being constructed in the V. Madugula mandal Urakagadda reservoir is being constructed in Sankaram panchayat and Tarakarama in Tatiparthi panchayat.
For these reservoirs, no rehabilitation policy is announced. And till date project affected people are not identified and also the nature of impact is not assessed. No notices were served except a few in the case of Tarakarama reservoir. In case of Urakagadda, the D-form patta lands under cultivation are razed for construction of approach roads to the project and no notices are served and compensation paid.
Surprisingly the same financial institution NABARD is funding all the three reservoirs and rehabilitation package is announced only in the case of one reservoir.
Efforts for justice:
The tribals of affected villages are organised to fight for their rights and justice
Protesting the discriminatory policy regarding rehabilitation a letter was sent to NABARD.
And also a representation was made to Joint collector on these issues on 12th May¡¦2003
A one day token strike (stopping the construction work) at the work place of three reservoirs is planned on 1st of June ¡¥2003. The struggle will be intensified if the government does not respond appropriately.
Expecting solidarity:
We expect efforts of solidarity from people/organisations in the following ways
„h Giving wide publicity to the issue
„h Sending letters to Chief Minister of A.P, Dist. Collector, Visakhapatnam (fax no. 0891-2564426)
„h Extend financial support for this just cause
„h Communicate and publish this appeal in independent media websites and magzines.
For any further details please contact:
P.S Ajay kumar,
Regional Secretary, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vrithidarula Union(APVVU)
C/o M .Appa Rao,
D.No 12-4-9/2, Satya Sai street
Opposite RTC complex, Anakapally ¡V531 001, A.P, India
Phone: 08924-225722.
E-mails: psajay123@sify.com, ajayp_shankar@hotmail.com, iipls_akp@hotmail.com

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Posted on October 27, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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