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When the TDP Government Poached a Part of River Islet Illegally?

People choose leaders who can lead them to a better future. When Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated, people chose Chandrababu Naidu as their leader. They had hoped that he would make AP just like he did with Hyderabad (now in Telangana). But what Naidu did was make false promises while giving the people of AP scams and scandals instead of development. Who is 420 in AP? You are about to find out.

Chandrababu Naidu was the Chief Minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, he lost the election and it was a humiliating defeat. That was the result of all the scams and corruption that happened under his leadership. His party members and leaders were busy looting the public money and grabbing lands left and right. When it comes to grabbing, they didn’t leave the waters.

This is in reference to the time in 2017 when the TDP government illegally captured a part of river islet on the Krishna river. They blocked the fishermen and people from getting access to the area. It was illegal and unprecedented, and it had the backing of Chandrababu Naidu, who is 420 in AP, as you will find out.

What was the Islet that was Illegally Occupied?

This is the story of how Chandrababu Naidu and his TDP leaders encroached upon a three-acre islet in the middle of River Krishna and 150-acres of space around it. This was done without any precedent and had created a lot of problems for the people, especially for the fishermen. The TDP leaders were trying to expand the islet into a bigger island so that they could build entertainment center there with pubs and restaurants.

Here is the statement of one fisherman:

Unprecedented!

Never have we seen peoplegrabbing a river itself. When wequestioned this deed, the security people claimed Chandrababu has his share in this. They also havechallenged us to try and do whatever we could tostop them. Ever since some unidentified personsinstalled the red flags, we are not being allowed to gothat side. About 500 families earn their livelihoodthrough fishing. They say that the government isgoing to develop the occupied river space into anisland with the help of imported machines fromJapan and Singapore. How should we live here if ourmovement is restricted? — Abraham, Fisherman, Guntupalli

How the Encroachment Started?

Here is the full story for you:

It all started when a few businessmen with connection to the then ruling party TDP, had occupied 3-acre islet in March 2017. This islet was located on the river Krishna and is close to the Tummalapalem, Tallayapalem, Uddandarayanipalemand Guntupalli villages. The islet is very important for the people here and is a very much a part of the riverbed. The villagers used the area for various recreational purposes and for fishing too.

Some TDP leaders saw opportunities in here and wanted to create an island here to build anentertainment hub with multiplexes, pubs, club and aresort. All this was done without any process or asking the people nearby. But the plan seems to have the backing of the then CM Chandrababu Naidu. Even the Water Resources Minister had allowed this to happen.

Without any warning or explanation, the land grabbers had created a fencing around the 150 acres of space in the river.A photograph was taken showing the river space being surrounded with plastic wireand red flags. The fencing prevented the fishermen from accessing the area. Not just that, the fencing was protected by some goons, bouncers and dogs.

The Plans of the Goons

The encroachers had decided to create an island. For this, they had imported land reclamationmachinery from abroad. Using the machine, they would have dug up the sandfrom the riverbed and increase the size of the islet to convert it into an island.

Here is another statement from a suffering fisherman:

River will Disappear!

In the name of a new capital,our agriculture has been destroyed.Now, they are getting ready tofill the riverbed and establishresorts and pubs. Four months ago,some people had tried to occupy 250 acres of lankalands. They had to back off due to the collectiveresistance of our village. Now, the same persons arecoming aggressively to encroach upon river space. —– Nadigam Suresh, Farmer, Uddandarayanipalem

It seems that the Chandrababu Naidu govt had no regards for the welfare of the people. They complained about it to the SridharBabu, the then Chairman of the Capital Region DevelopmentAuthority (CRDA). Instead of solving the issue, the chairman came up with an absurd explanation that the route was closed for the security reasons – security of the then ChiefMinister Chandrababu Naidu.

The fun fact was that the route had nothing to do with the CM. He never took that route before nor he had any plans to. But the goons had the support of Naidu and they did what they were asked to do. Who is 420 in AP? Now that’s not a tough question anymore.

The Bottomline

The Chandrababu Naidu govt was so greedy that they didn’t even leave the river space. His party leaders had grabbed a small islet in the river Krishna and prevented the people form nearby villages to access it. The fishermen were the worst sufferers as their livelihood was in danger. This river grabbing activity had the backing of Chandrababu Naidu, which is why the goons had the audacity to do something like that. Who is 420 in AP? You can decide it.

Read Previous Blog: Looting in the name of Infrastructure | Who is 420 in A.P.?

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