Telugu Desam to join stir on towers

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Nellore: Power Grid Corporation and merchant thermal power plants came under fire for paying meagre compensation to the farmers towards installation of transmission towers in their agriculture lands.
 
Former minister and TD politburo member Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy has dwelt at length on the ordeals of the farmers because of raw deal from Power Grid during a press conference at NTR Bhavan here on Tuesday.
 
He alleged that the corporation was paying a fixed compensation of Rs 96,000 even though they are paying much higher compensation to the farmers for setting up transmission towers in other parts of the country. He alleged that the corporation was adopting different policies with regard to payment of compensation in each state.
 
According to Reddy, the corporation was taking the land for 30 years’ lease in some places or paying 10 times to the value of the yields in some others. Market value is being offered for the land utilised for the towers in states such as UP and Uttarakhand.
 
In Gujarat compensation to the extent of RS 600 crore was paid for installing transmission towers. Reddy also found fault with the merchant power plants for paying Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 as compensation to set up towers to the farmers in Chillakur mandal. He said that Lanco had paid nearly Rs 5.25 lakh as compensation in some places for establishing towers in Krishna district.
 
He criticized the people representatives and officials for not coming to the rescue of the farmers.
 
He took a dig on the organisation for its failure offer decent compensation to farmers even while paying crores of rupees as income tax every year. He said that there was sudden drop in the value of the land wherever transmission towers are established even as the abutting lands fetching 10 times more.
 
Referring to market value of Rs 1 crore per acre for the lands located close to the national highway at Manubolu, 30 km from Nellore, he said that there are no takers even if the land is offered for Rs 10 lakh, if it contains transmission towers. He added that the high tension transmission lines crisscrossing over villages are also posing radiation threat to the habitants. 
 
He said that they would launch an agitation in association with the farmers to ensure reasonable compensation from the corporation and the merchant plants. President of farmers’ association Koti Reddy, who was also present with Chandramohan Reddy, has squarely blamed the corporation for setting up towers without the permission of the land owners.
 
Some farmers poured in their woes because of the HT lines during the press conference. A farmer Venugopal of Muthukur said that his land value crashed to mere Rs 10 lakh per acre although the market value is Rs 1.70 crores because of transmission towers. Krishna district farmers’ association leader Venugopal also spoke.

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