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AP: Farmers protest land acquisition for capital construction

Thousands of farmers from villages across the capital region of Andhra Pradesh today staged a protest here against the proposed acquisition of their land for the construction of the state capital.

The farmers protested outside the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) office, and questioned the government’s decision citing livelihood reasons among others.

After the land pooling of about 33,000 acres of land from 29 villages in Guntur district, the state government is preparing to acquire another 2,500 acres of land under the Land Acquisition Act, APCRDA Chairman P Narayana said.

Though some farmers from these 29 villages willingly handed over their lands under the land pooling scheme, under which the government will return a part of the acquired land after developing it, to the land owner, many others are opposing the move.

The farmers, apart from expressing concerns about their livelihood, argued that whether the under construction capital actually requires such a large area of land. The government is planning to acquire the most fertile lands in the state which cost about Rs 2 crore an acre, they claimed.

Political parties like Congress, CPI, CPI(M) and YSR Congress also joined the farmers and participated in the protest.

After the protest, former MLA Malladi Vishnu and CPI(M) city Secretary C Babu Rao discussed the issue with APCRDA Commissioner N Srikant. They said they appealed to him to consider the views of the farmers and convey them to the government.

Meanwhile, Guntur District Collector Kantilal Dande today issued land acquisition notification for 904 acres of land under the 29 villages.