Even as farmers of Amaravati have been on a warpath against the government’s move to relocate the executive offices to Visakhapatnam, the State government on Tuesday issued an order to use 1,251.51 acres of land, procured under the land pooling system by the earlier government in Amaravati, for its flagship programme of allotting houses to the poor.
The Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi Joint Action Committee, demanding that the order be scrapped, opposed the government’s decision and said it would take legal recourse as the farmers gave their land for development of the capital and not for the government to use it for its welfare initiatives.
As per the order (MS 107) issued by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Secretary J Syamala Rao, about 54,307 beneficiaries from Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, Tadepalli and Mangalagiri municipalities and selected gram panchayats of Tadepalli, Duggirala, Mangalagiri, Pedakakani mandals of Guntur district will be given houses in villages of Nowluru, Krishnayapalem, Nidamarru, Inavolu, Kuragallu and Mandadam under ‘Pedalakandariki Illu’ (housing for poor).
The AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) has been directed to provide land for the same. According to the order, the APCRDA commissioner said on January 4 that the collectors of Krishna and Guntur districts requested for allotment of the said land to implement the flagship housing scheme.
Amaravati lands to be used for housing for poor initiative, protesters cry foul: The commissioner further noted that as per Section 53(d) of the APCRDA Act, 2014, at least five per cent of the total area pooled under the LPS may be allotted for providing affordable housing to the poor.
In this regard, the commissioner noted that 87.02 acres of land pooled under LPS has already been utilised to house the poor.
Following this, the government has decided to use the land under APCRDA’s ambit for its Navaratnalu-Pedalandariki Illu programme, the order stated. The APCRDA will undertake development of the layouts, for which funds will be given by the revenue department.
An implementation committee has also been formed with APCRDA commissioner and collectors of Krishna and Guntur districts to oversee the implementation of the programme.
Responding to the GO, Amaravati Parirakhshana Samithi JAC members took out a rally in Vijayawada in the evening and demanded that the GO be revoked. “While we have been fighting against the decentralisation of governance for the last 70 days, the government, which has not heeded our angst, decided to use the land we gave for capital development for its housing initiative. We demand that it be scrapped immediately. Else, we will intensify our protests and even take legal recourse,” the members said.
Later in the day, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took stock of the status of the housing project in the Spandana initiative. He told officials to ensure landholders don’t feel dejected when procuring land. “The collectors need to be humanitarian when taking land. If necessary, give them more compensation. Nobody should feel that their land was taken undemocratically,” he said.
Further directing the officials to take possession of the land identified for the project by March 1, Jagan entrusted officials of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) with the responsibility of resolving issues, if any, in the implementation of the housing scheme district-wise.
As there is less than a month to launch the programme, Jagan instructed them to expedite the process. “Development of layouts should be done at the earliest. Otherwise, we will not be able to have them ready in the stipulated time. Wherever layouts are ready, plot marking has to be done; and wherever plot marking is done, lots should be drawn for allotting the unit,” the CM directed. The government plans to give one cent land in the name of the woman beneficiary of the house to 25 lakh beneficiaries on Ugadi (March 25).
House sites by Ugadi: CMO officials to resolve problems related to housing programme Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney and Principal Secretary (GAD) Praveen Prakash: East and West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts Principal Advisor to CM Ajeya Kallam: Prakasam and Nellore districts Secretary (CM) Solomon Arokiaraj: Rayalaseema districts Additional Secretary (CM) Dhanunjaya Reddy: North Coastal districts