Displacement fears haunt villagers in Mahbubnagar

Displacement fears haunt villagers in Mahbubnagar
Highlights

The much-touted Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) is likely to be a bane to people of eight villages and seven tribal thandas as their fertile lands and habitations face submersion threat under the proposed project. 

Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme
Eight villages, seven thandas face submersion threat

Jadcherla (Mahbubnagar): The much-touted Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) is likely to be a bane to people of eight villages and seven tribal thandas as their fertile lands and habitations face submersion threat under the proposed project.

As part of its aim to make the State 'Bangaru Telangana', the TRS government envisaged the PRLIS to provide water to 7 lakh acres of land in the drought-prone area. The PRLIS design is already finalised and acquisition of land for the construction of reservoirs at Narlapur, Yedula, Vattem and Karvena as part of the PRLIS is in final stages.

Earlier, it was proposed to draw water from the reservoir between Karvena and Lokirevu villages in Nawabpet mandal. Later, Uddandapur village in Jadcherla mandal was brought under its purview. According to irrigation department sources, the change in the place of reservoir is meant to increase its capacity from 8 tmc ft to 15.91 tmc ft as Uddandapur is an ideal location for it. When the project officials held Grama Sabhas in the villages recently, there was widespread resentment to the proposal.

Alarmed by the displacement threat, the villagers took the matter to the notice of Health Minister C Laxma Reddy who hails from Mahbubnagar. The Minister allayed their fears and promised to look into the matter. Much to the dismay of people, revenue officials visited the villages after the Minister's assurance to conduct a survey for acquisition of land for the reservoir. The people made it clear that they would not leave their villages to facilitate the construction of reservoir.

It is learnt that 5,300 acres of land in Uddandapur, Vallur, Kishtaram and Polepalle in Jadcherla and four villages in Nawabpet mandal is needed for the proposed reservoir. Tribals of seven thandas will also be displaced if the reservoir comes up at the place.

Expressing his strong opposition to the change in the project, Ramanjaneyulu, a villager, said: "It is not correct on the part of the State government to displace people of eight villages and seven tribal hamlets for the proposed reservoir. Instead of exploring alternatives to increase the reservoir capacity, the irrigation engineers have come up with an unviable proposal which will displace hundreds of families."

Echoing the same view, another villager Venkataiah said: "The reservoir should be constructed with a capacity of 8 tmc as proposed initially. The government should give up the proposal of increasing the reservoir capacity taking into consideration the submersion threat to more number of villages."

Village sarpanch Manemma said: "The State government should adhere to the initial project design considering the largescale displacement. Rehabilitation of people of the submerged villages will also be a major problem."

By R Narender Goud

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