Annapurna Reservoir Submerges Homes, Families Forced To Relocate Without Compensation

Reported by

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Kochaguttapalli

Siddipet

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

53

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2020

State

Telangana

Sector

Infrastructure

The Siddipet district administration in Telangana evicted at least six families on April 19, 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdown as their homes fell in the submergence zone of the Annapurna Reservoir (formerly known as Ananthagiri reservoir). The eviction drive took place even as the land acquisition proceedings were stayed by the Telangana High Court. Annapurna Reservoir is a six-kilometre-long dam that is part of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, an ambitious programme of the state government to supply water from the Godavari river to the arid regions of Telangana. The dam has so far submerged 324 acres of forests and three villages in Ellanthakunta and Chinnakodur blocks in Siddipet district. In 2016, 154 families from Kochaguttapalli village had opposed the land acquisition for the reservoir as it was carried out under a state government order (known as G.O. 123) instead of the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (LARR) Act, 2013. In 2017, the Telangana high court struck down the GO, after which the state began to acquire land under the LARR Act. On April 9, 2019, the high court granted a stay on the land acquisition after a petition was filed by 11 families. They claim that after the preliminary notification of acquisition in 2017, the government did not make a declaration under Section 19 (1) of the LARR Act. As per Section 19 (7), if no declaration is made within 12 months, the preliminary notification would be deemed cancelled, unless the government issues an extension to the deadline. The 12-month deadline ended on December 27, 2018, and the government extended it by two months to February 28, 2019. The petitioners argued in the high court that an extension cannot be granted after the deadline. The court issued a stay order until something conclusive was decided on the matter. The stay order was in place when the evictions took place in April 2020. The families were not given prior notice and were not allowed to take cash, gold and other valuables with them, according to eyewitness accounts. They were forced to shift to the project rehabilitation and resettlement colony in another village. Three days later, their homes got submerged in the reservoir waters. Alkaturki Laxman, a resident who was evicted, told Article-14 that the demolitions took place without notice and that the officials did not pay heed to peoples demands to take their belongings. We were crying and pleading, but they didnt listen to us, Laxman said. On April 26, the state government told the high court that only six families were opposed to the acquisition and that 148 families had accepted compensation. But according to a news report, 30 families were evicted. The matter is pending before the high court.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for rehabilitation, Complaint against procedural violations

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1928

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Telangana High Court

Case Number

Writ Petition Nos. 3420 of 2019, 9146 of 2019 and 25664 of 2019

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement, Other harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Six families, who were living in the submergence zone of the Annapurna Reservoir, were evicted without prior notice. They were not allowed to take cash, gold or any other valuables. Three days later, their houses were completely submerged.

Date of Violation

April 19, 2020

Location of Violation

Kochaguttapalli

Nature of Protest

Refusal of compensation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District Collector of Siddipet, Irrigation & Command Area Development Department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Nihar Gokhale

Reviewed By

Nihar Gokhale

Updated By

Nihar Gokhale

Edited By

Nihar GokhaleLand Conflict Watch
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