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Action against special deputy collector on Polavaram irregularities sought

Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent

Published on: January 18, 2022 | Updated on: January 19, 2022

The Toyyeru rehabilitation colony committee member Gangadhar said that the houses should be constructed for 649 victims of the project

The relay fast stir taken up by Devipatnam mandal people demanding that the government sort out rehabilitation and resettlement package issues to Polavaram Project Displaced Families, continued on the 30th day on Tuesday.   PTI

The relay fast stir taken up by Devipatnam mandal people demanding that the government sort out rehabilitation and resettlement package issues to Polavaram Project Displaced Families, continued on the 30th day on Tuesday. PTI

KAKINADA: The Adivasi Maha Sabha has sought action against Special Deputy Collector (SDC) Siva Narayana Reddy who worked two years back for Polavaram Project (land acquisition) as he paid Rs 4.81 crore to the non-tribal farmers, violating the norms.

According to sources, it was notified that nearly 426 acres of land under Kondamodalu Panchayat would face submergence in view of the Polavaram Project and a notification was issued for acquiring the land for the project. But, the tribal people claimed they have the right over the land. But the same lands were claimed by the non-tribal farmers by the way of settlement pattas and pattadar pass books.

Later, these lands were found to be under encroachment and these were tribal lands to be acquired for Polavaram project. The tribal farmers approached the high court against the claims.

To sort out the issue, the Polavaram Project officials (land acquisition, R&R and tribal welfare) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) saying that a compensation amount of Rs 22,28,38,064 sanctioned by the government should be deposited before the tribunal at Visakhapatnam.

As per the court order, the amount would be disbursed to the "responsible" farmers -- either non-tribal farmers or tribal farmers. The amount would be used for purchase of land to give it to the tribal farmers. Or, the compensation amount would be given to the non-tribal farmers as per the court decision.

Meanwhile, the amount was deposited in a National Bank at Korukonda and the incharge special deputy collector Siva Narayana Reddy allegedly passed an order and disbursed an amount of Rs 14,81,51,020 to ten non-tribal farmers without minding the claims of the tribal farmers or taking word from the higher authorities.

Special Collector E Murali brought the issue to the notice of the higher authorities in 2020, stating that the SDC acted in a most irresponsible manner by violating the MoU conditions stipulated by the district collector and the SDC had not made any effort to deposit the amount under R&R Authority at Visakhapatnam.

Adivasi Maha Sabha legal Advisor Suryanarayana submitted a representation to the joint collector of East Godavari district to take action against the violations. It is learnt the joint collector has asked the authorities to give their explanation in the case.

Meanwhile, the relay fast stir taken up by Devipatnam mandal people demanding that the government sort out rehabilitation and resettlement package issues to Polavaram Project Displaced Families, continued on the 30th day on Tuesday.

They placed 24 demands before the government. Devipatnam Sarpanch Rajamani alleged that the government had not given a compensation and settled the R&R packages to Devipatnam and other villages which were submerged in the project. But, the families have vacated their villages. She said they are facing hardships in their lives.

The Toyyeru rehabilitation colony committee member Gangadhar said that the houses should be constructed for 649 victims of the project immediately and the R&R package should be given to everyone.

He said that the girls who completed 18 years of age and got married should be given compensation amounts and R&R packages and also Rs 10 lakh should be given to the victims, as was promised by Chief Minister Jagan.

He said the the sub-collector of Rampachodavaram Katta Simhachalam visited their relay fast camp 15 days back and promised to sort out their grievances.

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