Farmers Unhappy with Compensation for Canal Project in Andhra Pradesh, Demand More

Reported by

Surabhi BhandariLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 18, 2021

Location of Conflict



Anantapur, Kadapa and Chittoor


Reason or Cause of Conflict

Water Management

Irrigation Canal



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)




Andhra Pradesh



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 198586. 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.

Region Classification


Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Revised Investment

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):



Starting Year


Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Demand for promised land

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Irrigation Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Backbone Projects Ltd

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, YSR Congress

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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