Kothagudem: The holy town of Bhadrachalam, which seemed to have lost its charm post-bifurcation, has witnessed an increase in business over the past month. Businessmen in the town have begun placing larger orders for electrical goods, garments and cell phones.
The AP government had paid evacuees of the Polavaram Project crores of rupees as compensation. The compensation amount has been paid at a rate of Rs 10.5 lakh per acre, as a result of which even poor farmers have received between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh each.
In all, the AP government made payments of over Rs 1,000 crore in April and May. Farmers and residents of Vunjaram, Rayagummu, Dumugudem, Sitaramapuram, Kondapalli and Kivvaka villages in Kukkunoor mandal have started buying bikes, television sets, cell phones and air conditioners after receiving the compensation amount. They shop in Bhadrachalam, which is the nearest town to these villages.
N. Kantha Rao, a resident of Kukkunoor, has come to Bhadrachalam to buy a two-wheeler. He says, “New two-wheelers have been selling well in the mandal for the past two months. People are going Bhadrachalam and buying valuables with the money that they have received.” He says that the residents of Velierpad also go to Aswaraopet, and those who want to buy gold and jewellery go to Rajahmundry.
Business had dropped by over 50 per cent in Bhadrachalam after it lost seven mandals to AP. Earlier, the residents of these mandals would visit Rajahmundry and Jangareddygudem to purchase fabrics and gold. N. Ramesh, a businessman from Bhadrachalam, says “The sale of electrical goods, silver, and two-wheelers has picked up. Many businessmen thought about shifting their base when business dropped. But they are happy now; they do not know for how long the present trend will continue.”
Many farmers have also locked up the amounts that they have received in fixed deposits. They are waiting to buy land in the districts of Bhadradri-Kothagudem and Khammam. Land prices in Bhadradri district have also increased after the distribution of compensation.