The highway is being built by central government at a cost of 14,600 crore. It is expected to be completed by 2025. (Representational Photo: PTI)
KHAMMAM: Farmers belonging to seven mandals of Khammam district are protesting against the acquisition of their lands for a greenfield express highway project between Vijayawada and Nagpur, which will pass through Khammam, Warangal, Mancherial, Repallevada and Chandrapur.
The highway is being built by central government at a cost of 14,600 crore. It is expected to be completed by 2025. The new highway will start from Jakkampudi near Vijayawada and pass through 25 villages in Khammam district, including Errupalem, Pegallapadu, Pedagopavaram, Meenavolu, Thakkellapadu, Dendukuru, Nidanapuram Maturu, Athukuru, Thunikipadu, Srirampuram, Rompinalla, Brahmanapalli, Nagiligonda, Nerada, Prodduturu, Vandanam, Kodumuru, Gopathi and V. Venkatayapalem.
About 1,000 acres of land is expected to be acquired. But pricing has become a big issue. Bonthu Ramesh, a farmer leader, said the road project has turned out to be a curse for farmers in Khammam. "State and central governments are doing injustice to farmers by fixing low land prices for acquiring the land. We are not ready to part with our lands," he maintained.
K. Rajasekhar Reddy, a farmer and advocate, pointed out that officials had faced a lot of resistance in Khammam-Devarapalli Greenfiled Highway. He maintained that they will not allow officials to survey their lands for Vijayawada-Nagpur Greenfield Highway.
Farmers are already stressed out with state government acquiring 10,000 acres of their lands for irrigation and coal projects like Sitarama and Ramadasu lift irrigation projects and open cast mines in Sattupalli during last five years.
E. Venkateswarlu, another farmer, pointed out that land prices in the area are high with their price ranging from 2–3 crore. "How can the government expect farmers to give their lands less than the market price," he asked.