Allay farmers’ fears about urban infra

The authorities usually conduct public hearings in a low-key manner, and the officials go through the motions in a typical bureaucratic style.

Published: 27th January 2023 12:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2023 12:17 AM   |  A+A-

construction, economy, building, workers, labourers,  Infrastructure

Image used for representational purpose only.

The Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), headed by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, as everyone knows, is aspiring to be a national party and has even come up with the slogan, ‘abki baar kisan sarkar’. Back home, however, the BRS government has faced farmers’ fury over its proposed planned urban development. It had sought draft master plans for the development of municipalities and corporations. Late last year, matters came to a head when protests broke out in Kamareddy and Jagtial in north Telangana.

Apprehensive about losing his land, one farmer ended his life, igniting widespread anger in Kamareddy, which ultimately forced the government to keep the draft on hold indefinitely. This is important for more reasons than one because it goes to the heart of the matter: what kind of development do we want to see in New India? If we take the Kamareddy draft master plan, for instance, the authorities proposed industrial, green, commercial, and residential zones.

Approximately 1000 acres of farmers’ land came under its ambit. The government has since clarified that no farmer would be forced to part with his land and insisted that this was simply a draft, which is true. But, if we are to go by the locals’ version, there was a glaring communication gap. Not many were even aware of the plan, and that objections had been invited until the farmer’s death. Irrespective of what the government says, they are rightly worried that they might be short-changed. The market value of their lands is much higher than what the government pays based on registration value.

The authorities usually conduct public hearings in a low-key manner, and the officials go through the motions in a typical bureaucratic style. Given the sensitivity of the issue, even a draft plan creates panic. An empathetic approach is needed to first inform the farmers. Besides, we must consider the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed zones. This is not to dismiss planned urbanisation. The state and the country need it. For now, the BRS government has shelved its plans. And, it is unlikely it would like to stir the hornet’s nest in this election year. But it has to find a way sooner or later. Not just BRS. Every other party must address this issue to achieve development without dislocation.

India Matters


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