Farmers from nine mandals submitted a memo on Friday to the Khammam collectorate saying they will not part with their agricultural lands.

Telangana farmers submit memo against proposed greenfield NH project in Khammam
news Highway Saturday, December 29, 2018 - 07:55

Farmers in Khammam, Telangana who fear losing their farmlands to the proposed Khammam-Devarapalli greenfield national highway project, on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Khammam collectorate saying they are not willing to give up their lands. They also briefly protested against the land acquisition proceedings.

Farmers from Khammam urban, Chintakani, Thallada, Konijerla, Wyra, Penuballi, Kallur, Vemsoor and Sattupalli mandals of Khammam gathered at Kallur, where a public meeting was being held by the Khammam collectorate. The farmers say the agricultural land being sought for the project is very fertile and is their only source of income. The farmers submitted a memorandum to the team enquiring into the farmer's reluctance to part with the lands, said the Khammam joint collector.  

In a video of the protest posted on Twitter, a farmer could be seen falling at the feet of a police officer, supposedly begging for his land not to be taken. Commissioner of Police for Khammam Tafseer Iqubal told TNM that the protest was peaceful.

 

The proposed national highway is expected to decrease the distance between Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh and Khammam in Telangana from 220 km to 197 km. The route map for the project prepared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been a termed a greenfield project. Such projects are to be executed without needing to remodel or demolish an existing structure in that area, such as buildings, temples, ponds. However, the proposed project will cut through vast tracts of agricultural land and the land acquisition process is underway.

When asked what action would be taken on the memorandum, the joint collector for Khammam, Masrath Khanam Ayesha told TNM, “We will see as per rules and as per government instruction, only then we will take a decision.”

This is not the first time the farmers are protesting against the project. Earlier in November, farmers from the nine mandals had protested at Dharna Chowk. They had then demanded that the project be shelved and existing infrastructure be developed instead, reported The Hindu. The proposed project is expected to affect 2,500 acres of fertile agricultural land, according to farmers.

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