The Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) project was conceived to provide irrigation facilities to 6.025 lakh acres of land across the four districts of Rayalaseema and to supply drinking water to 33 lakh people. The HNSS has been allocated 40 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet of water from the Krishna river but only if the reservoir levels are above 854 feet; hence, there is no assured allocation of water. The project was first conceived by Sir Arthur Cotton in the British era. The project design, however, was finalised during the N.T. Rama Rao government in 1985-86. The budget allocations started during the tenure of Y.S. Reddy in 2004. The lengthy time frame has resulted in excessive cost overruns. Meanwhile, in Kurnool district, water is still not flowing to the areas where the canals are partly dug. As of March 2019, officials said that water from the HNSS had filled 135 water tanks across Anantapur. However, activists point out that water is taken through the main canal and not the branch canal, which means that the irrigated area has not expanded. The branch canals are yet to be constructed, and the capacity planned for the canals is inadequate, according to experts. Farmers whose lands were acquired for the project have been demanding better compensation. The government had fixed INR 2.70 lakh per acre and promised a 30% hike over the original price. However, the farmers sought a higher compensation of INR 3 lakh per acre after the government acquired their land for digging distribution and field channels under the project. Lately, the government has invoked the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, to acquire land for the project. But even then it has met with stiff resistance from the people. The farmers whose lands were acquired for the Kuppam branch canal have not been paid their dues for the acquisition. In December 2017, farmers who had given away more than 200 acres of agricultural land to the state government for the Kuppam branch canal put forward their demand for better compensation in front of the state industries minister who visited the project site. In December 2019, officials from the state water resources department proposed to link two projects under the Handri Neeva and Galeru Nagari Linkage scheme. The chief minister laid the foundation stone for the linking project later that month. As of January 2020, the project remains incomplete.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Irrigation Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, YSR Congress
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Backbone Projects Ltd
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Land Acquisition Laws
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Nature of Protest
Name(s) of Court(s)
High Court of Andhra Pradesh
Writ Appeal No. 933 of 2017
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Objections as part of official procedures
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?