GUNTUR: Promising to bring in legislation for the land pooling process, the cabinet sub-committee on land pooling on Sunday asked farmers of Tulluru mandal not to go for distress sale of their land. "You will gain more money for your land in the future," the panel members told farmers on their maiden visit to the capital region after its boundaries were demarcated.
The panel members comprising agriculture minister Prathipati Pulla Rao, irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and local legislator T Sravan Kumar interacted with farmers at length in order to mollify their anger. Assuring them of the statutory safeguards being contemplated by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for all farmers who part with their land, Umamaheswara Rao said: "The issue of providing legal sanctity to land pooling process is also being examined as the CM wants to provide statutory guarantees to farmers. We will not ditch even a single farmer." He added that the CM is very sympathetic to grant as much facilities as possible to the local farmers for giving away their lands and there is no question of leaving them in the lurch.
The panel members added that the chief minister will directly interact with the farmers on November 17 where they can put their proposals before him.
Meanwhile, some farmers reportedly expressed willingness to be part of the land pooling process but raised several doubts over compensation. Farmers of riverside village Uddandarayunipalem demanded an increase in the quantum of compensation and also demanded that the lease amount for 10 years be paid in one installment.
On the other hand, farmers from Mandadam demanded waiver of all types of agricultural loans. "The government wants to waive farm loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh but what about the tenant farmers? The government should help them too," said S Narsaiah of Sakhamur village. Expressing anguish over pooling of green fields, he quipped that the lives of tenant farmers will be devastated.
"There will be neither compensation nor work for us after our land is taken over," rued M Venkateswara Rao, a tenant farmer. He appealed to the ministers to consider a relief package exclusively for tenant farmers keeping in view the ordeals they will face once the land is taken away.
Several farmers also sought clarification from the ministers on the survival of cattle and sheep once the green fields are converted into concrete jungles.