None other than the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The Singapore Consortium,which has the Singapore Government as a partner, prepared the most wonderful master plan to develop the most
dazzling and environment-friendly capitals of the world.
World Class architects were invited to prepare the plan for the core capital area consisting of the secretariat, legislative Assembly, Council, High Court and the best planned commercial-cum-residential areas in the country. Rajamouli who put Telugu cinema industry on the international map on invitation came forward to add some novelties that would highlight the culture of the state.
All this proved to be a marketing gimmick by the then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who was only interested in pushing up the land prices for the benefit of his ministers, lawmakers and cronies. All rules were bent and institutions undermined to see that the friends enjoyed the benefits. The matter is now with the CBI for a full-scale inquiry.
Only for the cronies
Not only did Mr. Naidu help his friends and party leaders buy land, the value of which was going to shoot up, in a second offence he protected the lands of his friends from being taken-away under ‘land pooling’ scheme for construction of the capital.
While the lands of ordinary farmers were taken away without the slightest consideration, the lands of his cronies were left untouched. The way the TDP government exempted the lands of Lingamaneni Estate and Ramakrishna Constructions from the land pooling testifies for the
bias. Though Lingamaneni Group and Ramakrishna Constructions bought 804.32 acres and 179.51 acres of assigned land respectively, they have been exempted from punishment and even protected from land pooling. Similarly, the 43-acre real estate venture of his party MLA Kommalapati Sridhar has been exempted from land pooling.
Duped into submitting their lands
Mr. Naidu pooled a total of 53,743.49 acres for the capital city from the 29 villages located in Thullur, Tadepalle and Mangalagiri mandalas. Out of this, 15,010.03 acres are assigned and government lands and the remaining 38,737.46 acres are private lands. Though ‘land pooling’ scheme was said to be voluntary it was hardly that. Farmers were duped into submitting their lands for the capital. To acquire the assigned lands rumours were spread that the government was taking back the assigned and riverbank lands from the present owners without any compensation to develop the capital. Terrified by false propaganda, the owners of 1,843 acres of assigned land and 1,514 acres of riverbank land sold their land at throw away prices which were picked up by ruling party leaders in the know of things. Once
these transactions were completed, the TDP government came up with a generous compensation package for these lands in February 2016; 14 months after the first announcement of the ‘land pooling’ so that the ‘new owners’ of the lands would be benefited.
Even according to international standards, it costs Rs. 30 lakh for the layout development for an acre land. About 3,000 sq. yard space could be developed on each acre, but the government proposed to give only a paltry extent of 1000-yard residential plot and 200/450-yard commercial plot per acre as compensation to the farmers.
Even in the zoning
The cronies who bought Amaravati lands have also been favored by the ‘Zoning’ system, which was proposed by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). The lands of Mr. Naidu’s cronies were placed under real estate enabling zones while the lands of ordinary
farmers were thrown into “Agriculture Protection Zone-1”, which is supposed to have the least commercial value. While APZ-1 is meant for agricultural purposes, the APZ-2 is meant to host Future Urbanized Developable Area. In APZ-3, almost all types of activities are
allowed. The TDP leaders and their benamis have bought about 10,000 acres of land in APZ-3 and proposed urban area even before they were zoned, as seen in the picture with dots.
There is no end to the tales of Chandrababu open corruption and legal plunder. Heritage Foods bought 14 acre land in Amaravati region a month after Chandrababu Naidu became CM Capital city location declared after this purchase and this land was exempted from pooling.