Though the polavaram irrigation project was announced as a plan to improve the lives of farmers, it has actually impacted the lives of them in reality. With the extreme pace at which the project is progressing, it poses a severe threat to the lives of farmers, who are yet to receive the promised compensation/ resettlement plans.
On an estimate, the project will result in the displacement of 3 lakh people, with 50% Tribals,15% Dalits and the rest OBCs, all dependent on agriculture. It must be noted that way back in October, the central minister for water resources, waterways Nitin Gadkari had promised that the central government will offer all support to ensure completion of the project before 2019 general elections.
From the satellite review conducted by CM Chandrababu Naidu, it's observed that excavation is done for 760 lakh cubic meters out of 1055 lakh cubic meters, and 12.31 lakh cubic meters of concrete work remains pending out of 16.04 lakh cubic meters. Besides during the course of the review, it was also announced that tenders will be out for the selection of new builders for speeding up the polavaram irrigation project.
However, with officials failing to offer a proper solution or give a right response, the residents are uncertain of their relocation, and settlements, and there's no information on compensation of 12 lakh per acre as per R and R act ( Right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act of 2013), and no rehabilitation colonies have been constructed either. Besides, there's also news of several officials involved in selecting places for relocation, without even listening to the concerns of the residents.
Though they were unable to voice out their issues, the people were hoping for their elected representatives to voice out for them, which has however taken a beating with the bifurcation of the state, following which more than 6 mandals lost their representatives to Andhra Pradesh, while the MLAs of Bhadrachalam and Ashwarapeta were transported to Telangana. With people lacking a representative to speak out, Polavaram is now represented by TDP candidate Srinivasa Rao.