MP urges officials to fix rates keeping ground realities in mind
Congress MP from Rajahmundry Undavilli Arunkumar on Saturday appealed to the government to be pragmatic while taking up land acquisition from farmers for irrigation and road expansion projects.
Speaking at a meeting of the West Godavari District Review Committee (DRC) here, he wanted the administration to fix the rates of the lands notified for acquisition keeping in mind the ground realities. Quoting an instance pertaining to the Rajahmundry-Kovvuru four-lane bridge, he said the rates quoted by the Revenue authorities for the agricultural lands for the bridge failed to be realistic.
Consequently, the process ended up in courts with the aggrieved farmers sought to stall the project demanding more compensation, Mr. Arun Kumar said. Even as the officials notified for acquisition of 40 acres in Kovvuru and Rajahmundry for the bridge and fixed a rate of Rs 13 lakh per acre, the losers sought Rs 25 lakh. The project was unlikely to be completed within the stipulated time frame which resulted in cost escalation because of the legal dispute, the MP said. Cutting across political differences, Mr. Arun Kumar joined hands with TDP MLA from Kovvuru T.V. Rama Rao to champion the cause of the bridge victims.
Palacole MLA Bangaru Usha Rani told the meeting that construction of a summer storage tank in her constituency became a non-starter for the last 10 years because of the problems associated with the land acquisition. The authorities fixed the land rates at Rs 9 lakh per acre at that time and the rates shot up to Rs 13 lakh now.
But there were no signs of settlement of the issue so for and the very objective behind the storage tank failed, she said. A section of public representatives urged the district administration to be liberal in conceding the request of tribal people affected by the Indira Sagar project for payment of compensation for trees and the podu lands. Collector G. Vanimohan said she found a lot of irregularities committed by the Special Deputy Collectors assigned for land acquisition in the past.
Swindling of funds was noticed by way of fabricating records showing payment of compensation for 400 acres and underground structures, she said. “We need to be more cautious while dealing with the public money”, the Collector said.
‘Delay in compensation results in escalation of the project cost' Rates quoted for the lands for the four-lane bridge are not realistic: MP
‘Delay in compensation results in escalation of the project cost'
Rates quoted for the lands for the four-lane bridge are not realistic: MP