Andhra pools 34,000 acres of land in 60 days from farmers

Land Pooling for new capital city Amaravati

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 26:  A pioneering initiative made by the farmers in Andhra Pradesh helped the newly formed state to pool 34,000 acres of land in just two months from 29 villages for its new capital, Amaravati, State Housing Corporation Managing Director Kantilal Dande said here today.

He made this revelation while participating in a discussion on ‘Emerging Trends and Experience in Large Scale Land Acquisition for Infrastructure in India” at a national seminar conducted by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).  

The land acquisition process in Andhra Pradesh has been ‘successful purely on the basis of farmers’ trust’, he said, addressing the seminar on ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Public Infrastructure Financing’.

 “The direct land acquisition process would have been lengthy, with legal complications, and it would have also alienated the farmer from the land and the developmental process.  Hence, the government under the Chief Minister Shri Chandrababu Naidu decided to opt for the land pooling method, which would avoid unnecessary complications,” he observed.

“The basic factor was not to destabilise people or to seize residential lands. The acquired land was demarcated as dry land and wet land. When a farmer surrenders one acre of dry land, he is entitled to 1000 square yards of residential area and 250 square yards of commercial area,” the official said.

Since there will not be immediate returns from the returnable plots, the government has decided to provide 10 years of annual income,  which will be increased subsequently each year. Further, it will waive loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh per family, provide monthly pension of Rs 2,500 to landless poor families,  provide free health and education, set up old age homes and run NTR canteens on the model of Amma canteens in Tamil Nadu.

Shri Kantilal stressed how farmers were co-operative in the building up of the new city with world class infrastructure and providing job opportunities   

Similarly, Shri P K Agarwal, CFO of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, noted that the benefit of land acquisition is being transferred to the landowners.  “They will be compensated as per the market prices or more than the market prices,” he said.

He explained how each state has different methods for land acquisition. While Uttar Pradesh and Haryana follow the direct purchase method, Maharashtra follows negotiation process and Gujarat follows the land re-adjustment model.

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