Firing range back to haunt Rachakonda villagers

Villagers fear govt may go ahead with the proposal after the poll season

Published: 21st May 2019 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2019 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

A view of the site where the proposed firing range is likely to come up in Rachakonda | Express

Express News Service

YADADRI BHUVANAGIRI: After a long hiatus, the proposal to set up a field firing range in Rachakonda area of Samsthan Narayanpur mandal in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district has come back to haunt the local people like an apparition.

The people were agitated when Choutuppal RDO V Suraj Kumar and other revenue officials visited the land where Rachakonda field firing range was proposed to be set up, to check the land markings.  
They were worried over the possibility of the government getting down to work after the model code of conduct for the elections is over.

In July 2013, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) obtained permission to establish a missile testing centre at the same place. BDL has already a missile testing site at Shameerpet in Ranga Reddy district. Now, the BDL wants to set up another testing site at Samsthan Narayanapur mandal and the officials have approached the government for land.  In August 2013,  13,400 acres of land has been allotted to BDL , of which  10,095 acres is in Nalgonda district and 3,305 acres in Ranga Reddy district limits.

There were allegations that though BDL requires only 125 acres for missile testing plant, it was allotted 13,400 acres. Tribals suspect that, initially BDL will  enter Rachakonda in the name of missile testing centre, and later it may come up with a field firing range.  With this apprehension the villagers attacked the officials when they came to Ayidhvala tanda to take a look at the land allotted to them on December 3, 2013. They also damaged their vehicles.
“We won’t allow firing range to set up here at any cost. For decades, Naxalites took over the hills and they  reverberated with gunshots for years," lamented a villager.

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