Elderly persons of Vemulaghat also seek rehab package

Citing a clause in LA Act – 2013, as many as 52 persons file petition wanting to be considered as ‘separate family’

Septuagenarian Battu Bhoolaxmi, a native of Vemulaghat village in Toguta mandal, lives with her two sons, spending six months each with one of them. She, along with 51 others, has filed a case before the High Court seeking Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) as per Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act – 2013 (LA Act – 2013).

Battu Bhoolaxmi’s family used to own about two acres of land, which was transferred in the name of her two sons. The government paid them compensation for the land acquired for the construction of Mallannasagar.

In Chapter One under definitions, it stipulates that “Family includes a person, his or her spouse, minor children, minor brothers and minor sisters dependent on him. Provided that widows, divorcees and women deserted by families shall be considered separate families. Explanation: An adult of either gender with or without spouse or children or dependents shall be considered as a separate family for the purpose of this Act.”

Based on this clause in the Act, the elderly oustees filed a Writ Petition 14399/ 2019 in the High Court seeking R&R to them on July 10, 2019. They have urged the court to issue a writ declaring the action of respondent authorities in not following due procedure as per provisions of Act 30 of 2013 and rules therein for determination of R&R entitlements payable to the petitioners and in denying R&R entitlements to the petitioners/ project displaced persons of Vemulaghat village as illegal, unconstitutional and consequently direct the respondents to notify R&R scheme to the petitioners on a par with the project-displaced persons in the village after following due process under Act 30 of 2013.

The case was listed for January 5 before the Green Bench and again posted for January 27 as the Government Pleader urged for time to file counter. Three of the petitioners – Kondayyagari Lacchhavva, Adiyala Ratnamma and Mera Bhagirathavva had passed away, according to villagers.

“We are fighting for the case for the past one-and-half years. As per LA Act – 2013 we are entitled to get benefits and we are seeking the same. Why is the government hesitating to implement the Act?” asked Bhoolaxmi.

Among the petitioners are Salendra Venkavva (82), Gudikandula Bondavva (80), Yerrannagari Ratnamma (88), Tutukri Laxmi (83), Pullayyagari Ballaxmi (83) and Kummari Ramaiah (88).

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