Vijayawada, February 4
With a view to restoring the past glory for Kolleru lake, government had taken up Operation Kolleru on the Krishna and West Godavari district borders.
But, the restoration of the lake has become a curse for the villagers.
In the name of Kolleru contour reduction, zirayat or assigned lands were destroyed. The officials have neglected their assurance to the oustees of paying compensation for zirayat lands.
The villagers are leading a miserable life despite having lands. There is 2.11 lakh acres of land till 10th contour in Kolleru and 55,421 acres in fifth contour.
To save environment, the government launched Operation Kolleru and destroyed several lakes in 2006. Fish tanks, usage of chemical fertilizers were banned in fifth contour limits. The government officials assured the farmers of paying compensation and destroyed zirayat lands and tanks in contour.
About 55,000 acres of land including 14,000 zirayat lands were destroyed. As per the market rates in 2013, the compensation for these lands amounted to Rs 650 crores. This amount will cross Rs 1,000 crores as per the present market rates. The government promise has remained as poll promise.
Farmers can cultivate only one crop per year in this area. They lost about Rs 14 crores income per year at the rate of Rs 10,000 per acre for 14,000 acres. A few of the farmers have reconstructed boundaries to their lands and invested Rs 40,000 per acre.