Displaced by the reservoir project, they must rebuild their lives.
For the villagers displaced by the Mallannasagar reservoir project, generations of relationship with their land is set to come an to abrupt end, sooner or later.
Each of them has a story to tell, if anyone were ready to hear it. They will all have to restart their living from zero, literally.
G. Naveen Kumar is a resident of Singaram in Kondapaka mandal. His grandfather and great-grandfather were born in the same village, as was he. He does not know whether the generation before them was also born there.
The Mallannasagar project turned their lives upside down. Mr. Kumar’s extended family has given about 42 acres towards the construction of Mallannasagar. Mr. Kumar’s family has given about three acres as their share in the combined family land, and they were paid a total ₹18 lakh for it.
They also received some amount for a house. Spending all of this amount, they could only buy 150 yards of a residential plot at Siddipet, which cost them a total of ₹24 lakh.
“We are unable to buy any land outside the purview of Mallannasagar as rates had skyrocketed by the time we received compensation. It is beyond our wildest dreams to become landowners again. Hence, we have compromised with a plot,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.
Not only Mr. Kumar, others also know that their days with their villages are numbered.
On Friday, revenue and police officials had reached neighbouring Erravalli and asked villagers there to vacate, stating that they should shift to Mutrajpally near Gajwel, where a new rehabilitation and resettlement colony is coming up.
‘A few weeks’
Officials considered the oustees’ request with sympathy and agreed to allow them to stay in the village till Dasara, the most important festival in Telangana, was over.
“We will be the next target of the authorities to vacate our village. There is no other go but to vacate, maybe in another few weeks,” said Mr. Naveen.
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