Riot turn

Gangavaram agitation puts AP government in a fix

 
By S RAMAKRISHNA
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

the recent Gangavaram police firing on agitating fisherfolk has put the two-year-old Congress led Andhra Pradesh (ap) government in trouble, particularly with the bypoll to the Visakhapatnam assembly seat round the corner. One died and 45 others sustained serious injuries in the firing on March 27, 2006, at Gangavaram in Visakhapatnam district of ap.

Following the police firing, construction work of the Gangavaram Port, which is the bone of contention, has been put on hold. Fisherfolk from nearby villages too have supported the stir and on April 5, Visakhpatnam port workers observed a daylong bandh. Meanwhile, the state government's repeated efforts to organise an all-party meeting to contain the situation have gone in vain, as the enraged people are not willing to join the meeting without the declaration of a proper compensation and rehabilitation package. But the state government is in a fix. It can't declare a revised package as the election's code of conduct is already in force for the bypoll. The Rs 2,000-crore port project, on the Bay of Bengal, near Vishakhapatnam, will deprive at least 3,600 families of their livelihood, from Gangavaram fishing village alone. But district administration has identified only 1,550 families, as beneficiaries. This had irked the villagers who were on an indefinite hunger strike for over 48 days.

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