Andhra govt to allocate land pooled for capital to housing scheme for the poor

Andhra govt to allocate land pooled for capital to housing scheme for the poor
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. (File/PTI)

The Andhra Pradesh government has announced it will allocate much of the land, which was pooled by farmers and landowners of the Amaravati region for a proposed capital city, to a government housing scheme for the poor.

The previous TDP state government had procured 33,000 acres of land under a unique Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) to construct the proposed capital city. However, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier decided to decentralise the administration and shift the executive capital to Visakhapatnam, more than 25,000 acres of the procured land is lying idle.

This land is to be allocated to the housing scheme for poor (Pedalandariki Iluu) – one of the nine election promises of the YSR Congress Party.

Revenue Department officials have already started surveying lands in several villages to mark plots and allocate them to poor beneficiaries or build houses for them.

“There is a lot of vacant land in Amaravati region which will be allocated to the free housing scheme for the poor. Under LPS, the developed plots that farmers got back from the government won’t be touched but the remaining land belongs to the government now and it can use it for any purpose that it deems fit. There are at least 30,000 poor beneficiaries in Mangalagiri mandal alone and LPS land available in the villages of Nowlur, Errabalem, Nidamaru and Krishnayapalem, would be allotted to these beneficiaries. In Tadikonda Assembly constituency, the LPS land would be allocated to beneficiaries of Vijayawada,’’ CRDA chairman A Ramakrishna Reddy told The Indian Express.

Jagan hda earlier said that on March 25 -the Telugu New Year – 25 lakh landless poor in the state would be given ownership documents of plots.

However, the Amaravati farmers’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) is opposing this move by organising protests every day.

As officials started surveying the LPS land in the villages, protesting farmers and landowners tried to prevent them from entering the villages. A woman tahsildhar was heckled at Krishnayapalem village while others were prevented from entering Nowlur village.

Police have registered cases against at least 450 farmers and landowners, including women, under Thullur and Amaravati police stations. Deputy SP (Thullur) Y Srinivas Reddy said that 426 farmers were booked for obstructing government officials from conducting a land survey while at least 25 others were booked for attempting to disturb peace during protests. “We received a complaint last week that farmers obstructed government officials who had gone to Krishnayapalem village to conduct land survey. The Revenue Department officials headed by a woman tahsildhar were surrounded by the farmers and were not allowed to do their duty,” Reddy said.

JAC leader Sudhakar Rao said, “All this is aimed at intimidating us into silence but we will continue to fight…”