Day of dharnas in city

By TheHindu on 27 Mar 2017

Alankar Centre at Gandhinagar on Friday reverberated with slogans against the State government as several aggrieved sections of society hit the road demanding solutions to their pressing problems.

The neighbourhood witnessed heavy deployment of police as the number of agitators began to swell right from the morning with an aim to draw the attention of members of the ruling party taking part in the budget session of the new Assembly at Velagapudi.

VRAs seek their due

Village Revenue Assistants (VRA) from various districts gathered at Dharna Chowk demanding salary hike and solution to their demands and employees of the Ayush Department sought job security and 12 months pending salaries to National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) staff. They sought immediate intervention of Minister for Health Kamineni Srinivas. All India Students Federation cadre staged a protest alleging irregularities in the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme.

Lenin Centre saw more than 1,000 farmers from Anantapur district staging a dharna demanding waiver of farm loans, Rs. 20,000 compensation per acre, comprehensive insurance scheme, free fodder for cattle, employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employee Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and supply of sufficient water for irrigation.

CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna criticised Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for ‘uttering lies’ with regard to the situation in Anantapur distrct. “How can he declare 63 villages in Anantapur drought hit after claiming that he had provided water through rain guns to 6.5 lakh acres?” he questioned.

He said a good number of cattle were sent to slaughterhouses owing to shortage of fodder and work.

‘Migrations on the rise’

“Thousands of farmers, farm labour and craftsmen are migrating to Kerala for want to work. Recently we, with the help of journalists, were able to know about the pathetic conditions of Anantapur farmers on the streets of Kochi.”

AP Intellectual Forum president Chalasani Srinivas said the government spent more than Rs. 3,000 crore towards pushkarams but never cared to provide water for irrigation in vulnerable areas. “Migrations are more in Anantapur, Srikakulam and Prakasam districts owing to shortage of water,” he pointed out. He demanded 100 tmcft water for Anantapur to help farmers take up cultivation.

Congress leaders Malladi Vishnu, Kolanukonda Sivaji, N. Narasimha Rao and others visited the venue and expressed their solidarity.

Special Correspondent