Infra projects in Telangana take a beating due to land acquisition protests

Update: 2023-01-12 18:29 GMT
The state government created the Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project Corporation Ltd to raise funds for the construction of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP), Telangana Drinking Water Supply Corporation Ltd to raise funds for Mission Bhagiratha and Telangana State Water Resources Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd to fund other irrigation projects. (Photo: DC)

Hyderabad: The execution of various infrastructure projects, including RRR (regional ring road), and industrial parks have taken a severe beating because of stubborn resistance from farmers and landowners for land acquisition.

Keeping 'election year' in mind, the state government is also going slow on land acquisition. Farmers are refusing to hand over their lands for various projects arguing that the compensation being offered was meagre and way below the market rates.

There have been massive protests by Kamareddy and Jagtial farmers against the 'master plans', which envisage acquisition of hundreds of acres of farm lands for the purpose of establishing industrial zones. These protests are spilling over to other municipalities as the state government has directed all 140 municipalities to come up with their respective master plans for the planned growth of urban areas in Telangana.

It was way back in September 2021 that the Centre gave its nod for the Hyderabad RRR project but the state government is yet to acquire the land for the project. Although the Centre agreed to share half of the land cost, the state government could not make much progress due to the resistance from farmers. The government needs to acquire nearly 9,000 acres for the RRR project.

The government is currently in the process of taking up surveys and holding public hearings for land acquisition. Recently, when the government held public hearings in the undivided Medak district, it ran into opposition from the local farmers. As a consequence, the scheduled public hearings in other districts like Rangareddy and Nalgonda were put off.

As regards the Hyderabad Pharma City project in the city outskirts, the Chief Minister was supposed to inaugurate the project last October. However, due to delay in land acquisition because of protests from farmers, even this too was put off.

Meanwhile, the construction of Green Field National Highway was also hit adversely when farmers from the undivided Warangal, Khammam and Adilabad districts staging protests.

As the Assembly elections are fast approaching, the government is not resorting to 'forcible acquisition' unlike earlier when it used heavy police force to acquire lands for irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram.

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