KCR met locals at his farmhouse in Erravalli, even as some protesters continued their relay hunger strike at the village.

Telangana CM KCR meets Vemulaghat residents over Mallannasagar reservoir talks failFile photo
news News Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 09:29

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday met with nearly 100 residents of Vemulaghat village, who have been staunchly protesting the Mallannasagar irrigation project for over a year now.

KCR met the locals at his farmhouse in Erravalli, even as some protesters continued their relay hunger strike at the village. 

According to reports, KCR explained to the farmers that giving up their land in the village for the project, was necessary for the development of the region.

He also heard the woes of the locals, and assured them that a two-bedroom house would be built by the government, for those who gave up their land, along with the compensation offered by the state. 

While this was a major development, as the two parties had reached a deadlock earlier, the locals still weren't entirely convinced. 

“We are not satisfied with the offer being made by the Government. They are trying to pay us peanuts where as our farms are more valuable,” a farmer told The Hindu.

The Mallannasagar project, which seeks to divert water to drought-hit regions of the state, will submerge 14 villages in the district. When the project was initially announced, large-scale protests broke out in eight of the 14 villages.

The village of Erravalli, which is also one of the villages adopted by KCR, became the epicenter of these protests, culminating in a lathicharge on July 24 last year, that injured close to fifty villagers.

Since then, all villages have caved in. Vemulaghat remains the sole point of protest.

The villagers say that they are willing to give in their land, if it is acquired under the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, rather than under a Government Order issued by the state.

At present, the government has assured villagers of compensation of Rs 6 lakh for every acre of farmland and a 2-BHK house near Gajwel, in exchange for their house sites.

However, the villagers of Vemulaghat distrust the offer, and fear that they will lose their lands while the promised compensation gets caught in bureaucratic red tape.