Hyderabad: Farmers of Naya Qila accuse government of land grabbing

Hyderabad: The farmers from Naya Qila , Golconda have alleged that, the land designated for the construction of the bird sanctuary was later allotted to the construction of a Golf Course in 2002 even though the farmers were not informed of the subsequent transfer.

The Naya Qila has been an abode of birds, and the creation of a bird sanctuary would make the area a recreational spot for elders and children alike, said a press release. It is to be noted that the sanctuary was notified as a public project whereas the golf course was not. The farmers claim that they never accepted the compensation money for the land promised to them. The physical possession of the land was forcibly taken away from the farmers with the help of police on October 29, 2013.

52 Acres of land were acquired from the 54 farmers’ families cultivating in Naya Qila Golconda Fort area, by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the creation of a Bird Sanctuary in this area.

The farmers have refused to part with their lands and further stated that the compensation amount is much lower than the marked price of the land. According to the farmers the alternative land is not of equivalent quality. The authorities acceding to this view appointed a Committee to look for alternative equivalent valuation land in Hyderabad District, but the lands offered were either scattered or not fit for cultivation, or far away.

Having failed to find suitable alternative land the Government unilaterally closed the negotiations and the search and enforced the acquisition.  

Even though the Government had acquired the land under the then law, the transfer was not affected and the matter remained pending with the Revenue Authorities following inconclusive discussions.

In a letter to the district collector in December 2016, the farmers demanded that they be given Rs 4,000 per month per acre, as compensation for the losses suffered. They remain unwilling to accept the previously promised compensatory amount. Furthermore, the farmers’ body requested that the equivalent land needs to be granted at the earliest.