August 28, 2015 7:03:21 pm
In what seems to be a climbdown, the Andhra Pradesh government which is facing growing opposition to land acquisition for the new capital today said it was only in favour of land pooling and not the acquisition.
“The government’s intention is land pooling only. Land pooling was announced on January 2 and 33,000 acres were given (by land owners) by February 28, in 58 days,” municipal administration minister P Narayana, who is supervising the land pooling for the capital city, told reporters here.
“I announced about land acquisition on March 1. Chief Minister (N Chandrababu Naidu) said ‘stop land acquisition and go for land pooling and we will see later’. I waited till August 20. 1,000 acres were given (in addition to 33,000 acres). Actually, I started land acquisition to avoid delay as plans (for capital development) have already come,” he said.
The minister sought to absolve Naidu of any controversy. Noting that Naidu was “totally against” the land acquisition from the beginning, the minister said it was he (Narayana) who had announced the land acquisition for the capital.
“Pawan Kalyan (actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena founder)….also said not to go for land acquisition but to take land through pooling by persuading the farmers. That’s why we are now on the job of persuading farmers. We will take only by persuasion. We have to build a good capital city. The remaining few farmers, please cooperate (with the government).
“It is not the intention of the government to do land acquisition. CM has been totally against it from the beginning. We request all to come for land pooling,” he said.
Under the land pooling scheme, the owners are offered benefits such as a share of the developed land rather than a simple monetary compensation.
The plan to opt for acquisition had triggered opposition from farmers and other land owners who are reluctant to part with the land. The main opposition YSR Congress and other parties lent support to the farmers’ stir.
Pawan Kalyan, whose campaign for TDP-BJP combine in last year’s elections had helped the two parties, too had voiced his opposition.
The Singapore government has prepared master plans for the three-layered capital city development – capital region, capital area and seed capital – in the Vijayawada-Guntur region. The state government is now expected to announce a Master Developer for the capital city construction.
Naidu performed ‘Bhumi Puja’ for the city in June, and the state has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the foundation-stone laying ceremony on October 22. Meanwhile, Kalyan, in a tweet, thanked the Chief Minister for considering the sentiments of farmers with sympathy. He also thanked ministers Narayana, Prathipati Pulla Rao and others “for moving towards stopping land acquisition”.
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