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Andhra stops land acquisition for state capital


Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided not to go for land acquisition for construction of the new state capital and instead continue with the land pooling system by persuading farmers.

With the opposition parties up in arms against the land acquisition, and ruling party TDP’s ally Jana Sena led by Pawan Kalyan also expressing solidarity with farmers, the government decided not to go ahead with the land acquisition.

Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana, who is supervising the process of land acquisition for the capital, told reporters in Vijayawada that forcible acquisition was never the intention of the government.

Stating that people voluntarily came forward to give 33,000 acres of land under the land pooling system, he said the remaining 1,900 acres would be acquired under the same system. He was confident that the entire process will be completed by Monday.

Narayana remarked that they will resort to acquisition of land only if it became inevitable.
He clarified that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was never in favour of land acquisition.
Taking the blame on himself, the minister said it was he who announced land acquisition.
“I did this only with a view to ensure that the process of building the state capital begin as early as possible,” he said.

The minister assured farmers that injustice will not be done to them, and appealed to them to cooperate with the government in constructing the best capital city.
The land pooling began on January 2 and within two months, land owners came forward to give 33,000 acres.

Under the land pooling scheme, land owners are offered benefits such as a share of the developed land rather than a simple monetary compensation.

The government last week issued a notification to acquire agricultural land in 10 villages in Guntur district, triggering protests by some farmers.

Pawan Kalyan had also visited some villages on August 23 and demanded the government to immediately withdraw the land acquisition notification.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naidu on Friday asked officials to be on alert in view of what he called attempts by some forces to provoke farmers.

Chairing the first meeting of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) in Vijayawada, he said if controversies were created, investments will not come to the state.

He appealed to all political parties to cooperate in the larger interest of the state.
Naidu said the state capital would be built in ‘Swiss Challenge’ mode. He directed officials to ensure that the process of denotification of forest land is completed within a week.
The chief minister also asked officials to provide skill development training to unemployed youth in the capital region, pay them Rs.1,000 per month and arrange free food and training material.

The Singapore government has also prepared masterplans for the three-layered capital city development — capital region, capital area and seed capital — in the Vijayawada-Guntur region.


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