15 Years On, AP Families Displaced by Veligonda Project Fight for Fair Compensation

Reported by

Rahul Maganti

Published on

October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016

Updated on

October 20, 2016

Location of Conflict

Kalanuthala

Pedda Kovvada, Ramachandrapuramu, Gudem, Kottapalem, Tekkali and Jeerukovvada

Prakasam

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

18542

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3070

ha

Starting Year

2005

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

Veligonda Project is an underconstruction irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh's Prakasam district under which 43.50 TMC (one thousand million cubic feet) of floodwater from Krishna River will be drawn from the foreshore of the Srisailam Project Reservoir and will be carried in two tunnels to feed into the Nallamala Sagar Reservoir. The construction had commenced in 2005 and was scheduled to be completed by 2008. However, the project has seen several delays and cost escalations, and the revised target of completion is now 2020. The objective of the project is to provide irrigation facilities to 4,47,300 acres of land and drinking water to 15.25 Lakh people in 30 mandals of Prakasam, Nellore and Kadapa Districts who have been affected by flouride contamination of groundwater.
While the government figures indicate that only 472.53 acres of private land are to be acquired, news reports estimate the figure to be 40,000 acres. Eleven villages will submerge due to the damming of the Nallamalla reservoir, affecting 3,863 families. Officials announced a rehabilitation and resettlement package to construct settlement colonies with the entire infrastructure ready in place by the time the families shift. Six relief and rehabilitation centers were identified. It has been more than a decade since the package was announced, but there has been no progress in the infrastructure works. In the meantime, the number of beneficiaries have increased from 4,300 to 9,000, as the children have grown up and some of them have married. In 2017, the oustees protested for enhanced compensation as per the 2013 Land Acquisition Act. Veligonda Project Oustees Committee convenor Galli Venkatram Reddy said, We will soon start Amaravati Chalo programme, seeking a better deal for the displaced people. By June 2019, the displaced families continued to live in congested houses in their villages waiting for the promised rehabilitation package. They refused to leave even though the government had notified theirs as submerging villages. Prakasam district joint collector S. Nagalakshmi said the land for remaining settlement colonies at Vemulakota and Ondutla had been identified and that layout proposals were sent to the rehabilitation and resettlement commissioner. She said they were trying to convince the government for a suitable package. In June 2019, farmers again demanded a better package as per the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 as well as compensation for the delay in implementing the relief packages.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Demand for more compensation than promised

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation as number of beneficiaries have increased

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

5150

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Land Acquisition Act, 1894
Section 4 [Whenever land is likely required for a public purpose, a notification to that effect shall be published in in the Official Gazette]; Section 11 [The collector shall make an award of the compensation and its apportionment among all the persons know or believed to be interested in the land]; Section 30 [Any disputes pertaining to apportionment of compensation shall be referred to the decision of the Court]; Section 34 [In case the compensation has not been paid before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay interest from the time of taking possession until the compensation has been paid]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(i) [The Gram Sabha shall be consulted before acquisition of land for development projects and rehabilitating persons affected by such projects in Scheduled Areas]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 24(2) [Where any acquisition proceedings have been initiated under the 1894 Act five years prior to the commencement of the new Act, but physical possession of the property has not been taken, the appropriate Government, if it so chooses, may initiate the acquisition process afresh]; Section 28 [While deciding the amount of compensation due, the Collector shall taken into consideration all the market value of the land, the damage suffered by the affected families and other grounds which are in the interest and to the benefit of the affected families]; Section 31 [The Rehabilitation and Resettlement Award shall contain the particulars of the house site and the land allotted to the displaced families]; Section 32 [The Collector shall ensure the provision of all infrastructural facilities and basic amenities in the resettlement area; Section 80 [In case the compensation has not been paid before taking possession of the land, the Collector shall pay interest from the time of taking possession until the compensation has been paid]
Government of Andhra Pradesh Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, 2005
Clause 6.18(b) [The resettlement center shall be provided with basic amenities and infrastructure facilities and any other community facilities that were available in the village at the time of acquisition]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Delay in allottment and possession of land/property

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Department of Irrigation, Government of Andhra Pradesh

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?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Resources Related to Conflict

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

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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