GUNTUR: Uncovering its capital city plans, the AP government has decided to pool land in 17 villages of Guntur district in the ? rst phase. As reported by TOI earlier, it has exempted Amaravati from the first phase.
Sources said the government has earmarked Tullur, Nekkallu, Kuragallu, Mandadam, Velagapudi, Uddandarayunipalem, Rayapudi, Dondapadu, Neerukonda, Borupalem, Nelapadu, Sakhamuru, Nidamarru, Malkapuram, Mudha Lingayapalem, Lingayapalem and Abbarajupalem villages for the initial land pooling exercise. They added that the government has zeroed in on these villages in view of the absence of highpriced paddy fields there.
"We want to begin the process of land pooling from November 1," confirmed agriculture minister and member of the land pooling committee, Prathipati Pullarao. A senior offcial of the rank of principal secretary is expected to closely monitor the process. "We want to complete the firrst phase within three to six months," said a senior revenue official.
Sources said chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is of the view that farmers who are resisting land pooling will fall in line once the process is successfully completed in the upland areas of 17 villages in Tullur mandal.
"The government felt that there could be some protests from farmers of Amaravati, Tadepalli, Mangalagiri and Ta tikonda and hence has decided to take up land pooling there in the second phase. If farmers do not agree even then, we will go for forcible acquisition. We, however, suggest all of them to make use of the best packages to be announced by the government," said a minister.
Of the nearly 30,000 acres to be pooled for the capital, the government will acquire 15,000-18,000 acres in the first phase. A crucial meeting of the cabinet sub-committee on land pooling will be held on October 30, where a final call on the compensation package is expected to be cleared. The government wants to begin the negotiation process immediately after that.
According to the draft plans, the government is contemplating giving at least 1,100-1,200 sq yard of developed land to farmers in return for every acre acquired. It is also contemplating offering an annual compensation ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per acre till the portion of the developed land is returned to the owner.
Although, the present prices in the earmarked villages are between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3 crore per acre, the government does not consider them to be realistic. The government also believes that the farmers might not oppose giving away their lands as they can get not less than Rs 2 crore for 1,000 sq yards of developed land once the capital is ready. "In fact, they might get more than what they are anticipating now as land in the vicinity of the capital will have high premium," said a minister.