Tension in Andhra village after protests by those displaced by the Gandikota project

A village resident said that more than half of the villagers have not received complete rehabilitation but are still being forced to leave.
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Tension gripped the Tallaproddutur village of Kadapa as people who have been displaced for the second phase of the Gandikota reservoir project protested demanding their Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) packages. The Gandikota reservoir is being constructed in Kadapa district and is to supply Krishna river water to the Penna river basin in two stages. Over 2000 families are fighting against their "forceful" eviction by revenue authorities.

Chamaluru, Yerragudi and Tallaproddutur villages in Kadapa district are among those which have been affected due to the construction of the irrigation project, after the government increased the capacity of the project to 22 TMC metres. (thousand million cubic)

Out of 1300 families that have been asked to be evacuated, 3500 adults in these villages who are liable to be compensated have not received the compensation and resettlement amount, allege villagers.

For the last few days a tensed atmosphere has prevailed in the village with revenue officials waiting to evict them. Villagers want to leave only after they receive complete settlement towards their Rehabilitation and Resettlement package. Police officials are asking the villagers to evacuate from the village citing that they are vulnerable due to increasing water levels in the water body.  

However, villagers allege this is just a convenient excuse and that many have served with fresh notices for eviction and have been given only a short notice. According to villagers TNM spoke to, the construction of a housing facility near Jogulapuram, where they are to be relocated to, to be built in over 100 acres of land has not been completed yet.

TNM was informed that few activists were roughed up by the police while few were placed under house arrest in order to prevent any further protests in the village or in the region.

Speaking to TNM, a villager named Rajesh said, "Over 400 police personnel were deployed in the village, the revenue officials were forcing and harassing us to leave." Rajesh has been asked to vacate by October 15.

He further added, "So far only 700 units (adults who are entitled for compensation) have got compensation under the R & R package, where should those people with no alternate housing facility?There are no facilities in the rehabilitation colony. This eviction gives us a short notice. We want the government to settle our compensation and rehabilitation as per the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, only then will we leave this place."

Rajashekar, an OBC resident from the village told TNM that more than half of the villagers have not received complete rehabilitation but are still being forced to leave.

The village with over 7000 people has as many as 1300 families. According to activists, of more than 400 Scheduled Caste families who reside here, not even 30% were given compensation for rehabilitation. Women in the village also staged a protest amid heavy security presence.

Speaking to TNM, district Superintendent of Police (SP) KK Anburajan said that everything was normal in the village. "There were no arrests, no cases registered, everything is peaceful," the SP said while adding that anything related to rehabilitation is under the purview of the district Collector.

Human Rights Forum (HRF) condemned the high handed nature of revenue and police authorities, HRF's Jayasree Kakumani said 'the YSRCP government has duped the people promising justice, but now silencing the same villagers when they demand for fair compensation'.

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