Many residents who were displaced by the project are yet to receive the benefits that they were promised, way back in 2006.

The oustees of Telanganas Mid Manair project
Delve Displacement Friday, January 24, 2020 - 10:29

Since mid-2018, Manvada Laxman has been living with his family in a government school. He is one of several residents from Cheerlavancha in Telangana's Sircilla district who have been relocated to the Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) colony, after being evicted for the construction of the Mid Manair dam.

Like Laxman, many locals who are yet to receive adequate compensation that they are eligible for, have either been living in the government school in Cheerlavancha or in tin sheds. This is the case in many villages. In Kodurupaka, many out of the 1,300 families allege that they yet to receive adequate compensation. They say that officials hadn't done the assessment properly, resulting in loss of compensation. In Gowravaram too, there are allegations of inadequate compensation by the locals.

The Mid Manair project is a balancing reservoir across Manair River for which land acquisition began in 2006. Many oustees are yet to receive the benefits that they were promised. According to Katherapaka Ravindar, an activist from Kodurupaka, women beneficiaries are the most affected and are still forced to run from pillar to post.

Landless agricultural labourers from these villages stated that they were assured of getting land for agriculture but claimed that the same was not being fulfilled by the state government.

Even in villages that have received compensation to a large extent, there are allegations of misuse of R&R funds. Lakshman Bhoomalla, who lives in the R&R colony of Kodimunja, has alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 55 lakh.

An RTI filed by him, shows that money sanctioned for the construction of three temples was misused and the layout of the plot in the R&R colony was also changed. He says that the approved layout was disregarded, to allow certain locals to occupy the land next to the highway, as the land rate of the plot closer to the road would be higher.

The government has said that as the R&R process has stretched for over a decade, the delay has resulted in the process of compensation becoming unnecessarily complicated.

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