Pharma city: Farmers alleged forced land acquisition by govt

Hyderabad: Farmers and villagers from Ranga Reddy district who are opposing the state government’s upcoming ‘Pharma City’ project have alleged that the latter is taking land from about 20 villages for the project. The villagers claimed that their lands have been taken without any proper compensation or even without addressing their concerns. 

The villagers, while addressing a press conference on Friday in Hyderabad, alleged that authorities told them that their lands could be taken even without their consent. They claimed that that was the response they were met with when they opposed the land acquisition.

Saraswati Kavula, an environmental activist, also alleged that the government is avoiding hearings of the land acquisition. “They are is seeking extensions stating that they need more time when we ask officials to give replies to our questions on violations of the LARR (Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act,) Act.” 

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 However, earlier the government promised the villagers that time their Patta lands would not be touched.

Villagers jailed over silent protests against the government.

On hearing about the Bhoomi Puja that was organized while laying the foundation stone of the project, the villagers had reportedly staged a protest raising concerns over the “illegal” acquisition of their lands. Villagers at the press conference said that a tussle had ensued between the police and thm, after which the former had beat up farmers in a lathi charge.

As of now, over 600 farmers have filed cases in the High Court with regard to the issue, wherein replies from the government are awaited based on the writ petitions that have been filed. Moreover, the villagers also alleged that local MLA Manchireddy Kishanreddy and the Revenue Divisional Officer of Ibrahimpatnam have been threatening them with seizure of their lands. 

“They have said that if we don’t give consent to hand over our lands, then they would deposit cheques in the court,” alleged a villager, who did not want to be quoted. Kavala also said that the High Court has issued a stay order that the lands cannot be taken into possession until the proper compensation is paid and full rehabilitation is done. Dr Rama Rao, a chemical scientist, also claimed that the Pharma city will destroy the local environment.

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