‘Government can sweep our village after killing us’ - The New Indian Express

‘Government can sweep our village after killing us’

Published: 12th November 2012 09:14 AM

Last Updated: 12th November 2012 11:01 AM

The Congress leaders, who earlier supported the fishermen’s agitation, have not yet visited the villages to pacify them. This indicates the government’s stand of going ahead with the N-plant.

But, some villagers do not want any compensation in lieu of their lands.

“We are all well aware of the government’s sops. What happened at the Gangavaram Port? How many villagers got the jobs? And what jobs can they give for illiterate villagers?” several fishermen questioned.  “They will only offer us menial jobs such as sweepers and watchmen. These jobs are not permanent. Our traditional fishing is the only source of livelihood and we want to continue the same. We do not want to lose out lands and take up menial jobs,” the fishermen pleaded.

“We will never leave this place. We are mentally stronger here than anywhere else. This cannot be calculated in price,” said Kari Ramudu, a traditional fisherman.

“The government will take all our health and wealth and give us small flat in a group housing facility. But how can we lead the life at an unknown place without knowing any other work? We have heard about how badly the relief and rehabilitation packages were implemented at other places. We are very less in numbers and the government can sweep our villages but only after killing us,” Allipalli Ammoramma, a woman from the  fishermen community in Kovvada said. Citing the example of Gotta Barrage of Hira mandal, Ammoramma wanted the district collector of Srikakulam to reveal the placements given to the oustees of 23 villages.

“Presently, we are discussing the issue with all our well-wishers like former IAS officer EAS Sarma. Once the government gives the land acquisition notices, we are planning to file a PIL before High Court. If needed we will also fight for justice in the Supreme Court. The problem is of the whole region, not just that of Kovvada,” said M Polisu.

“Everyone is talking about better packages being offered by the government. But, how many people from the five villages will get jobs? The majority of the people are illiterates. We do not know any skill other than fishing. We  are happy here. We do not want the ‘biscuits’ offered by the government,” a graduate in the village MV Ramana said.

“We are dismayed that the government issued land acquisition orders for the Nuclear Power Project despite opposition by the local people, who are principally farmers and  fishermen. Nuclear power is in fact intrinsically hazardous, extremely dangerous. It is the most dangerous form of energy. Even during normal operations of a nuclear power plant, radioactive materials are regularly discharged into the air and water, at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle. The nuclear power operations produce a radioactive waste, that take lakhs of years to decompose. The Centre should immediately drop the proposal,” state general secretary of Human Rights Forum VS Krishna said.

“Being a democracy, the government is under an obligation to respect the feelings of the local population. As a person closely associated with the area, the impression I get in the case of Kovvada is that the local people are highly apprehensive of the project. Most of them have followed the Fukushima aftermath. I have learnt that senior leaders of Congress have made extensive land purchases in the vicinity, hoping to make huge personal gains from the project. It is they who will mislead the government on the desirability of the project” former Union secretary of power EAS Sarma said. The government even issued orders to acquire lands to set up the plant.

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