Agriculture SEZ is under fire for dubious allotment

Firms having nothing to do with farming get land.

Nellore: IFFCO’s Kisan SEZ is in the thick of controversy as all parties and farmers associations aiming their guns on the organisation for allotting land to industries that have nothing to do with farmers or agriculture. The outcry became more vociferous after Kisan SEZ allotted 150 acres each to Coca Cola and Gamesa India Ltd involved in the production of rotor blades for wind turbines.

Some political leaders and farmers associations went to court alleging that the firm is misusing the land allotted by the government and obtained a stay against alienation of the land. YSRC senior leader and former MLA Katmreddy Vishnuvardhan Reddy has observed that 20,000 acres of land can be cultivated with the water being used by Coca Cola plant while pointing to water drawn from Kanigiri reservoir to Kisan SEZ through separate pipeline.

“The software giant uses 8 liters of water for each bottle and this is the reason people protested against setting up Coca Cola everywhere. Gujarat and AP are the only states that allowed the company to establish its new units despite reports and videos over health hazards because of consuming it” Mr Vishnuvardhan Reddy said. Reminding that Iffco had acquired 2,700 acres in 1996 to establish gas-based urea manufacturing plant and changed the project’s title as IFFCO Kisan Special Economic Zone in 2008 after failing to establish the urea plant for various reasons, ruling party ZPTC member from Kodavluru, Viruvuru Sridhar Reddy alleged that farmers are biggest losers because of the delay in executing the proposed projects.

Attributing the snail phase of development of SEZ to exorbitant rates being quoted by the management, he alleged that there is lot of variation in the sale price of the land to Coca Cola and Gamesa. Mr Reddy, who went to the extent of resigning his post, if the Chief Minister inaugurates Gamesa, cooled down after party leaders assured to address his concerns pertaining to jobs for locals and preventing establishment of chemical factories.

TD Kovur MLA Polamreddy Srinivasulu Reddy found fault with Kisan SEZ for allotting lands to pollution oriented companies while pointing to possible contamination of groundwater in delta area. He also expressed concern over non-payment of compensation to 1,000 odd acres belonging to Sri Kodandarama swamy temple in Kovur. He also complained to the Chief Minister over providing land to non-agriculture units during his visit to Nellore on Friday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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