Tension prevails in Andhra Pradesh over Sompeta aqua farm plan

Tension prevailed in and around Sompeta after the Nagarjuna Construction Company made its re-entry in the land, almost eight years after they had acquired it.

Published: 17th May 2018 04:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2018 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

SRIKAKULAM: Tension prevailed in and around Sompeta after the Nagarjuna Construction Company made its re-entry in the land, almost eight years after they had acquired it. The thermal power project, which was proposed by the company there was cancelled following the agitation by the local farmers and fishermen.

For record, three farmers were killed and many others injured in the police firing following the clash between the company people and the local activists earlier. During that time the company had acquired about 600 acre of land from the farmers, while the government ceded the rest of 900 acres to it.

After leaving the acquired lands vacant for almost eight years, the company reoccupied their land to conduct aqua farming. Since aqua culture pollutes water bodies in the Beela lands, local farmers and the activists of Paryavarana Parirakshana Samiti (PPS) and fishermen organisations lodged a complaint with the local revenue officials as well as the district administration, said Dr Krishna Murthy, the PPS president. He also said that if the company people conducted aqua farming in the acquired lands, the irrigation water from Beela reservoir would be polluted.

The farmers and fishermen residing in the low-lying areas depended on the Beela reservoir water for cultivation and as a source of drinking water, he said.  He also alleged that the company started constructing the tanks without taking prior approvals.

They would decide on the future course of action if the company did not stop the costruction works in the next few days, he said. When contacted, the district fisheries development officer VV Krishna Murthy said that though the Savitri Agro Company people had applied for permission, it was not yet granted.

It needs no objection certificates (NOCs) from various departments, such as groundwater, revenue, RWS and even agriculture, he said. He also said that when the local people lodged a complaint with the grievance cell of the local tahasildar’s office and the district collectorate, joint collector KVN Chakradhar Babu directed the revenue officials to stop the works. Keeping this in view, we kept the application on hold.

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