Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met a delegation from Tundurru in Andhra's West Godavari district on Wednesday, and assured them that he would raise the issue of the aqua food park project in Parliament.
The Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park owned by the Ananda Group of Industries, is coming up in between the villages of Tundurru, K Bethapudi and Jonnalagaruvu, and has seen a fair amount of resistance from the locals over the past three years.
Tundurru village has been on the boil for months, and even witnessed violence as hundreds of protesters had clashed with authorities, on multiple occasions.
The Hindu reported that a six-member delegation from Tundurru, Kamsali Bethapudi and Jonnala Garuvu called on Gandhi in New Delhi and explained their woes to him.
They were accompanied by Andhra Pradesh Congress state unit president N. Raghuveera Reddy.
â€śGandhi told us that the Congress is not against the setting up of food parks, but is opposing the one in Tundurru as it affects over one lakh population spread over 40 villages. We have invited Gandhi to tour our villages so that he would get first- hand information about the project and the opposition from the public to it. Mr. Gandhi said he would look into the matter,â€ť Javvadi Satyanarayana of Tundurru told The Hindu over telephone.
For months now, locals have been claiming that the project would dry up their water source, and pollute their environment, making it difficult for them to live in their villages.
Locals also allege that the company used dubious methods to convert the land from an agricultural land to industrial land.
In February this year, hundreds of women who had gathered to protest, claimed that they were roughed up, beaten and dragged by the police, while others were detained and arrested.
Ironically, the incident happened on International Women's Day.
Read TNMâ€™s ground report on the issue below.