Capital issue: Andhra moves to acquire land; farmers protest

Vijayawada: : Amid protests by Opposition parties and farmer groups, Andhra Pradesh government today issued a notification for land acquisition in the Vijayawada- Guntur region where the state capital is coming up.

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

The government already has 33,000 acres in 29 villages in its kitty under its “land pooling scheme” that ended on February 28.

In addition, the state is preparing to acquire another 2,500 acres under the Land Acquisition Act, said Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana.

The government did not initiate land acquisition till now as “land pooling” is more beneficial option, said Narayana who is also Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).

Hundreds of farmers from villages across the capital region of Andhra Pradesh today staged a protest in Vijayawada against the proposed acquisition of their land.

They protested outside the office of APCRDA and questioned the TDP-led government’s decision, citing livelihood reasons among others.

Some farmers from these 29 villages willingly handed over their land under the pooling scheme, under which the government will return a part of the acquired estate after developing it, to the owner. However, many other agriculturists are opposing the move.

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

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