The Collector issued the notification on April 13 under Andhra Pradesh Land Acquisition Relief and Rehabilitation Rules, 2014, clauses 1 (1) (B), for acquiring 680 acres. The landowners have been given 60 days time to file their objections. The notification also bans any sale proceedings or availing loan on the lands.
Landowners at Penumaka and Undavalli villages, who have so far resisted any move to pool their lands, said they would take legal recourse. The farmers of this small village have been at the forefront of an agitation launched in 2014 against moves to acquire their fertile and multi-cropped lands.
Of the 1,650 acres in these two villages, owners have parted with 400 acres. It is widely believed that the land acquisition notification for Undavalli will be issued on Friday.
The two villages are considered a stronghold of the YSR Congress Party. Party president Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy visited the village in April 2015, and vowed to stand by the villagers. Months later, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan held a meeting with farmers and promised that he would take up the issue with the Chief Minister. “We demand that Mr. Pawan Kalyan take up for our cause and demand justice from the State government,’’ said Naresh Reddy, a farmer. Noted social activists Medha Patkar, Swami Agnivesh and several others visited the village and offered their solidarity with the villagers.
The landowners of this village faulted the decision of the government to acquire their fertile lands on which more than 100 varieties of vegetables and fruits are grown throughout the year. Some of them even have gone to court.
The government on the other hand, had tried all the means to convince the farmers. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had repeatedly said that landowners would stand to lose if they opt for land acquisition.
“We will stick to our decision and will not part with our lands. How can the government take away our lands and offer developed plots on a par with dry lands? We have been saying that our lands fetched higher prices even before the bifurcation of the State,’’ said Mr. Reddy.