Tuesday, 7 October 2014

1 lakh acre not needed for capital: Ex MP Y Sivaji

VIJAYAWADA: Taking strong objection at the state government's attempts to take over the green fields for capital city, leaders from various peoples' organisations demanded that the government should make its plans clear on the actual land requirement.

The leaders alleged that entire process of the proposed land pooling looked like helping only realtors but not the people. Addressing a round-table conference organized by Dalit Bahujana Front (DBF) here on Monday, former MP and tobacco growers leader, Yalamanchili Sivaji found fault with the government's ambitious plans to acquire 1 lakh acre for the capital.

"Absolutely there is no need to acquire one lakh acre for the capital at the cost of small and marginal farmers interests," he said. He suggested that the capital could be constructed in the available 23000 acres of land in VGTM-uda limits. He said that the government should first begin the process of construction of the capital in the available lands without creating scare among the marginal farmers. He asked as to why the government needed so much of land for capital city when the entire structures in the existing capital-Hyderabad were not spread in more than 1000 acres.

He suspected that the land pooling and land acquisition might benefit the realtors and big industrialists. "If at all the lands had to be acquired, it should begin from the big realtors, MLAs, MPs and industrialists, who recently acquired vast tracts of lands in and around Amavarathi-Mangalagiri region," said Sivaji. He warned that the entire process would be hit if the government wanted to go with force. He said that coordination committees with farmers, local leaders, intellectuals to make the process transparent. Sivaji said that the United Nations (UN) head quarters was located just in 20 acres of land and Hyderabad secretariat was spread in just 5 acres of land. He said that capital in massive extents would only benefit the realtors and land mafia. He said that all the offices in Hyderabad should be shifted to Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) campus even before beginning of the capital. APCC SC cell chairman, Korivi Vinay Kumar demanded that all the lands distributed to SC, STs under land distribution scheme should be exempted from the land pooling and land acquisition.

He said that CM should keep his promise on making the capital a peoples' capital by giving chance to the dalits and weaker sections to live on their lands. He said that the government should also take the agriculture labourers and tenant farmers into account while awarding compensation for lands acquired for capital. He, however, felt that there was no need to acquire 1 lakh acres for the capital city. DBF state general secretary Melam Bhagyarao, who presided the meeting, said that land acquisition should be done as per the new Act on land acquisition. He said that there was no question of farmers agreeing for forcible land acquisition if denied justifiable compensation.

Bhusadhana Vedika leader Ch Ravikumar said that on field survey should be taken up to assess the actual requirement of land for capital. Bhumi-Upadhi hakkula vedika leader Velicherla Durgaprasad said that new Act on land acquisition mandated the conduct of the social impact assessment prior to issuing the notification for land acquisition and violation of the act would only delay the process. "While the consent of 80 percent of the landloosers is must for acquisition for private companies, the government might be forced to give the lands back to the original owner if the acquired lands were not utilized within a stipulated time frame and purpose," he explained. KVPS leader P Malyadri, A Devakumar, J Ismail Babu, B Ramalingam were also addressed.

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