Farmers Allege Forceful Consent for Pattiseema Irrigation Project in Andhra Pradesh

Reported by

Surabhi BhandariLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 23, 2021

Location of Conflict

Pattiseema

West Godavari

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

91

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

728

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The Pattiseema lift irrigation project was commissioned in July 2014 and was built by 2016, sidestepping the concerns of farmers whose lands were acquired and of experts who questioned the necessity, viability and feasibility of the project. The project was completed in a record time of two years by interlinking the Krishna and Godavari rivers by diverting surplus Godavari waters into the Krishna through the Polavaram right canal, reaching Krishna at the barrage near Vijayawada. Local residents and activists question the necessity of the project when water availability to Rayalaseema depends on other irrigation projects Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanti and Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanti, both of which are under construction. Further, there is no assured allocation of water to Rayalaseema. The Pattiseema project is said to be relevant only till the completion of the Polavaram project, after which the equipment used for Pattiseema would be dismantled and used for other projects. The farmers allege that they were not consulted before the start of the project but were forced to give their consent for the same. Eventually, INR 701.41 crore were spent for acquiring 1,798 acres. of land In 2017, the CAG report stated that construction patterns for the dam kept on changing frequently, which resulted in an additional burden of INR 106 crore. Activists and farmers claim that the project is a colossal waste of public money and state that the cost outweighs its benefits. They also accuse the government of spending large sums of money to advertise and promote the project in various events. Experts have also pointed out that proper environmental impact studies were not carried out on mixing river waters, loss of habitat and effect on wetlands and floodplains. In June 2019, RTI queries by environmental activists revealed that the state government did not even obtain an environmental clearance for the Pattiseema project on the ground that it was covered under the environmental clearance granted to the Polavaram project, though there were substantial differences in design, cost and physical specifications. However, on February 20, 2020, a National Green Tribunalappointed committee did not consider the same when it was directed to look into the clearances obtained by Pattiseema and other irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. The NGT had sought a report on the same from the government within four weeks.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation, Refusal to give up land for the project, Complaint against procedural violations

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1300

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

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws

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)

National Green Tribunal Principal Bench

Case Number

O.A. No. 175/2018

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

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

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Media based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Water Resources 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:

M/s Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd

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

Surabhi Bhandari

Reviewed By

Surabhi Bhandari

Updated By

Surabhi Bhandari

Edited By

Surabhi BhandariLand Conflict Watch
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