Nation Current Affairs 04 Apr 2016 Small farmers of Ama ...

Small farmers of Amaravati capital region become workers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 4, 2016, 6:48 am IST
Updated Apr 4, 2016, 6:48 am IST
Small farmers are turning to road side pushcart vending, selling mangoes, watermelon and other fruits this summer.
 Small farmers are turning to road side pushcart vending, selling mangoes, watermelon and other fruits this summer.

Guntur: Farmers, landowners and workers belonging to 29 villages of the Amaravati capital region have been forced to work in other cities, such as Vijayawada and Guntur, due to the absence of work and cultivation activity since the last one year in their own place of habitation. They say that the CRDA had promised to provide them work, especially small/medium farmers and workers, while donor farmers are lamenting that the CRDA gave them Rs 30,000 as annuity (or Rs 2,500 per month), which was too meagre an amount on which to sustain a family of four. This was why they were being forced to look for work in other towns. Sadly, agriculture workers and small farmers have turned into construction workers and petty pushcart vendors to eke out a living.

Small farmers, B. Venkateswarlu and others said that construction work was providing them a daily income of Rs 400 to Rs 700, which they had hoped to get in the temporary capitals construction itself, but the contractors had appointed workers from other states, such as Bihar and West Bengal. This had led them to go to other cities, spending half of what they earned on transport. They demanded that priority be given to locals in work pertaining to the Amaravati capital region in lieu of the sacrifices they had made for the establishment of a world-class new capital city.

As many as 45,000 farmers, including tenant farmers, used to get an income, but this has stopped since January 2015. No other activity was started in the Amaravati capital region, despite the CRDA’s promises.

Agriculture workers, K. Ramu, B. Kondalu and others said that they earlier used to earn Rs 300 to Rs 500, according to the work, such as vegetable plucking, grading and packing, and also get vegetables free of cost, but now there was no work and no free vegetables either. They were having to seek out agriculture work in other towns at very poor wages.

They also recalled the promise made about an opportunity for them to work in nurseries, the forest department having started nurseries in 19 places in the Amaravati capital region, but sadly, there was no work there for them.

Meanwhile, CRDA officials, responding to the absence of work, said that it was planning to provide work under MGNREGS, which would be identified soon and provided to the local people.

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