90 per cent  farmers evicted in Andhra Pradesh by Vamsadhara Project turn labourers to make ends meet

After their attempts to buy agricultural land with the compensation given to them failed, the evacuees had no choice but to turn to daily wage labour to make ends meet.
90 per cent  farmers evicted in Andhra Pradesh by Vamsadhara Project turn labourers to make ends meet

SRIKAKULAM: Almost 90 per cent of farmers displaced by the Vamsadhara Project now work as daily wage earners. Over 35,000 people from 6,840 families were evicted from 19 villages in Kotturu, LN Peta and Hiramandalam mandals for the construction of the reservoir.

Close to 8,500 acres of land was acquired from the villages against a compensation of Rs 1.30 lakh per acre. By the time the solatium finally reached the displaced, the price of land almost tripled.

After their attempts to buy agricultural land with the compensation given to them failed, the evacuees had no choice but to turn to daily wage labour to make ends meet. Ironically, the reservoir which was envisaged to benefit the agriculture sector has made farmers destitute. 

A few ryots have managed to procure land near R&R colonies, though far less than what they once owned. The farmers consider themselves lucky as several of the evacuees have joined construction teams working in the colonies to survive. Patiwada Mohana Rao, evicted from Duggupuram village, has procured eight acres of land — a far cry from the 12 acres he had to forgo. Similarly, T  Bheema Raju from the village purchased 3 acres against the 14 she lost.

“During the eviction I lost 8 acres of land at Padali village and got a compensation of just Rs 1.30 lakh per acre,” former MPTC Peddakota Bheemudu said. He also said that he failed to get agricultural land despite many attempts. “I lost 17 acres for which I was paid Rs26 lakh as compensation,” Tottiri Poli Naidu, an evictee, said. “More than 80 per cent of the amount was spent on my daughter’s wedding,” he added. 

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