AP Farmers want their consent letters back
The farmers of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) village on Saturday held a protest at the local CRDA office, demanding that the officials return the consent letters that they have given earlier. The development, according to the villagers, was not because of the recent tour of the YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy or the Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan.
Vijayawada: The farmers of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) village on Saturday held a protest at the local CRDA office, demanding that the officials return the consent letters that they have given earlier. The development, according to the villagers, was not because of the recent tour of the YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy or the Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan. But, it was due to the failure of the government to ‘acquire’ the lands from those farmers who have refused to give their land in pooling.
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The farmers of Nowluru village of Mangalagiri mandal went to the local CRDA office in the village on Saturday evening and asked the officials that their consent letters be returned. Shocked at the demand, the officials said that they have no powers to return the letters. The farmers were irked at the reply and raised slogans against the officials for not returning their letters. As the farmers held protest inside the office, the officials available there advised them to approach the senior officials including the CRDA commissioner or the Guntur district Collector.
However, the farmers continued their protest seeking return of their consent letters. The farmers who have been opposing land pooling right from the beginning along with those from Undavailli and Penumaka villages of Tadepalli mandal and Nidamrru, Yerrapalem and Bethapudi village of Mangalagiri mandal gave their consent letters in the last week of February. A farmer, Palapalli Vasantha Rao, told The Hans India over phone that over 50 farmers from the village asked the officials to return their consent letters on Saturday.
“We have given the consent letters only due to fear of the government invoking the Land Acquisition Act and depositing the compensation in the banks. We have given the letters after February 25, when the government had set the deadline. We were scared of losing both the land and the compensation too. So we have given the letters,” Vasantha Rao said. He further added that he had lost one acre of land 30 years ago when the Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA) acquired lands for township.
“Our money was deposited in the banks and our lands were taken. It was a herculean task for us to get back the money from the banks and we did not want the same experience now. Hence we have given the consent letters,” he added. When asked what prompted them to ask for the return of the consent letters, Vasantha Rao said that the State government had failed to invoke the Land Acquisition Act on the farmers who refused to give their lands.
“The government said that it would acquire the lands from the farmers who refuse to give in pooling. But, they did not do it. Instead, the government is now trying to exempt those farmers and those villages from land pooling. If that is to be permitted, we too want our lands back,” Vasantha Rao said. He further stated that about 50 farmers in the village are now asking for the return of their consent letters and does not want to give their lands for the capital.
“We were scared following several rumours about the government’s proposal to invoke additional laws and create problems for us. To avoid all that, we have given our consent letters. Now, we don’t want to part with our lands. We want our lands back,” he said. In reply to a question on what they would do if the government refused to give the consent letters, Vasantha Rao said that they would not sign the agreements with the government. “Let the law be same for all of us. No exemptions and no deviations,” he asserted.