VIJAYAWADA: G Rajesh Kumar, a farmer in Lingayapalem in Thullur mandal in Guntur district, whose banana plantation was razed by CRDA officials in last December, is yet to get compensation from the state government.
Rajesh Kumar, who owns 7.3 acres, did not surrender his land under Land Pooling Scheme of the state government despite pressure on him. On December 8, CRDA officials had his entire banana plantation flattened with the help of bulldozers under the “mistaken” impression that the land had been given to the CRDA under land pooling.
When Rajesh Kumar raised serious objection and lodged a protest with the CRDA, it admitted its mistake even as the chief minister took serious exception to the indiscretion of the officials and asked them to assess the damage and pay him compensation.
On February 9, horticulture department officials made an assessment of the damage even as Rajesh Kumar lodged a complaint with the police and made a claim with CRDA for `24 lakh CRDA for the loss incurred by him because of the destruction of his plantation.
After he lodged a complaint with the CRDA, the chief minister asked the officials to take action against the staff responsible for the destruction of the crop and within no time two staff members were placed under suspension but, according to Rajesh Kumar, they were quietly reinstated.
Rajesh Kumar said that though he had visited the CRDA office and inquired about the fate of his claim for compensation, he did not get a proper reply. The staff who are in charge of paying him compensation told him that they did not get the report from the horticulture department which was assigned with the job of assessing the damage. “The response has been very cold and the staff were not at all cooperative,” he said.
Rajesh Kumar said that when he approached the horticulture department they said it was difficult for them to make an assessment of the damage as they visited the plantation after the crop had not only been destroyed, but it had been flattened and the earth was ploughed along with the crop with no traces of the remains of the crop.