Magsaysay Award recipient Rajendra Singh, known as the Waterman of India, was attacked by TDP workers on Friday, for taking up a yatra against the government’s plan to build the capital on the floodplains of the Krishna river.
The TDP workers and pro-LPS (land pooling scheme) farmers from Venkatapalem, Tullur, Krishnayapalem, Mandadam, Rayapudi, Nelapadu pelted stones at the team led by Rajendra Singh, protesting against construction of the capital by flouting environmental norms and halted their campaign at Amaravati.
The pro-LPS farmers shouted “go back” slogans at the environmentalists and alleged that the anti-LPS farmers were trying to stop the development of the new capital Amaravati which would decrease their land value, reported Deccan Chronicle.
They also tore banners and flexes, demanding that the tour be halted which was objected to, by the anti-LPS farmers of Penumaka, Undavalli and other abutting villages.
The pro-LPS group claimed that they had wilfully offered their farmlands for construction of the new capital Amaravati but the frequent visits of environmentalists, farmers’ leaders and NGOs halted the development process in Amaravati.
Speaking on the issue, Rajendra Singh said that he was not against the establishment of the new capital Amaravati, but opposed the concrete constructions on the river bed as they were a big threat to the Krishna River.
Singh said that he was visiting the villages to know the facts as part of the Krishna River conservation tour.
The team visited Nidamarru to view the Kondaveeti Vagu stream. But TDP activists and pro-LPS farmers strongly opposed the tour demanding its immediate stoppage, resulting in police intervention and halting of the tour.
Rajendra Singh launched a 1,080-km yatra, on August 2, from Kanakadurga temple, Vijayawada to Hamsaladeevi in Diviseema, Karnataka accompanied by Professor, Vikram Soni, known for his work on the protection of the Yamuna floodplains.
Others who went on the tour included Irrigation expert, B Satya and farmers’ leader Anumolu Gandhi, who has been vocal against the land pooling of farmlands by the Chandrababu Naidu government.