Farmers and others who lost their lands for the Kakinada special economic zone project, agitating for a long time to get back their lands, have intensified their stir, as the Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, is scheduled to visit the East Godavari district for three days from Thursday. He will launch the Indiramma Bata programme for the first time in district.
On Tuesday, farmers and other agitators conducted “vanta-varpu” (cooking on the roads as a form of protest) programme and blocked traffic on the beach road at two villages in Thondangi mandal.
The farmers allege that their lands were snatched from them by the then Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy government at cheap rates, with false promises of jobs.
But even though years had elapsed, the industries had not been set up and they had lost their livelihood.
Fishermen on the coast had been adversely affected and only the corporates such as the GMR group had been benefited, they alleged.
The agitators said that initially the ONGC was scheduled to set up an oil refinery in the KSEZ but the public sector company had backed out and again in a hurry, the project was awarded to the GMR group.
Even the GMR group had not done anything to execute the project and it was clear that the intention was to grab valuable land and later convert it to other uses. They wanted the Government to scrap the KSEZ project and give them back their lands.
They alleged that KSEZ was one of the major scams perpetrated during the late Dr Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy's tenure and, as the CBI was now probing into the irregularities and economic crimes, the KSEZ issue should also be taken up and justice done to the farmers and others who lost their lands for a pittance for the sake of the project.
They warned the State Government that the agitation would be intensified, if the Chief Minister failed to visit the KSEZ area and give them an assurance on their 'just demands'.