India

AP returns 2,180 acres SEZ land to farmers

KAKINADA: Farmers of Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) have succeeded against all odds with the state government finally deciding to return certain extents of lands back to the farmers. The nearly one-and-a-half decades’ struggle of farmers under KSEZ fructified with the state cabinet on Tuesday deciding to return around 2,180 acres of land in the zone to farmers who have refused to take any compensation.

If small extents of 5–10 acres of land adjacent to KSEZ are there, these farmers will be given the same extent of land at another place the “land-for-land’’ policy.

Following the decision, some of the farmers have called Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy as “saviour of farmers”. Particularly delighted are farmers of U. Kothapalli and Thondangi mandal in East Godavari district.

 

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Political parties including BJP, CPI, CPM, Telugu Desam and many non-governmental organisations visited the area and had expressed support for the farmers. The Kadali Organisation led by its secretary K. Rajendra launched the agitation in initial stages by creating awareness among farmers on the environmental issues they could face in the future. Rajendra brought to the area many environmentalists including Medha Patkar and Balagopal. They created awareness among farmers and submitted representations on their behalf to central and state governments.

 

During his padayatra when he was the opposition leader, Jagan had visited the KSEZ area and promised to sort out the issue. “The Chief Minister has fulfilled his promise and proved his credibility,” said KSEZ Vyathireka Porata Samithi convener Chinta Suryanarayana Murthy.

He thanked Kakinada MP Vanga Gita, Tuni MLA Dadisetti Raja, Pithapuram MLA Pendem Dorababu and others who fully supported farmers on the issue. Samithi leader Bavisetti Narayana Swamy alias Pedakapu said the announcement has come on the auspicious “Bhishma Ekadasi’’ day. “People of the area will worshipping Jagan as a saviour’,” he stated.

 

When Chandrababu Naidu was in opposition in the united AP, he promised KSEZ farmers to give back their lands if he came to power. But after assuming power, he did not fulfil his promise despite ruling the state from 2014 to 2019.

“All political parties supported the farmers’ agitation and we thank all of them. We will never forget CM Jagan as he has finally done justice to us,” said KSEZ Vyathireka Porata Samithi convener Chinta Suryanarayana Murthy.

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