The forcible land acquisition by K Chandrasekhar Rao government in Telangana for the Mallanna Sagar project is snowballing into a major controversy with farmers of 14 villages in Medak district revolting against the government braving lathi-charges, tear gas lobbing and firing by the police.
Obviously, KCR was under the impression that he was the God for the people of Telangana and there would not be objection to anyone on whatever he does.
He thought the Opposition parties were completely down and out; so, there would be little resistance from them. But what he forgot was that the people, who voted him and his party to power two years ago, would revolt against him if injustice was meted out to him.
Why is the KCR government struggling so much to acquire land for the irrigation projects?
There was a report in a blog reminding that former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy had acquired six lakh acres of land in Telangana for various projects under Jalayagnam without a single protest from farmers, without shedding a single drop of their blood and without affecting their livelihood.
In Pulichinatala project alone, the YSR government had acquired thousands of acres of land without affecting the farmers. This was because he did not go in for fancy projects, but went about Jalayagnam in a practical manner. That is why, he could convince the farmers and ensured that all of them got the most attractive rehabilitation and resettlement schemes.
This is what is lacking with KCR. The so-called redesigning of projects has no rationale and is not convincing.
For example, experts are saying there is no need for any Mallannasagar reservoir to store 50 tmc ft of water that would submerge 20,000 acres. But KCR is adopting a stubborn attitude. That is why, he is not able to acquire any land for the projects.