Former IAS officer E A S Sarma describes the scheme as an affront to spirit of democracy

Visakhapatnam: Former IAS officer E  A S Sarma on Wednesday found fault with the State government circumventing Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act and opting for land pooling to acquire land for building capital city. 

At a press conference here, Sarma, who was former Finance Secretary in the Union government said, “The LARR Act-2013 provides a reasonable package of compensation and rehabilitation of displaced landowners. The Act mandates prior consent of landowners.” The land pooling would not only deprive the landowners of their right to be consulted but also amount to ‘serious violation of human rights’, he said. It was violation of Constitutional safeguard of right to property, he pointed out.

The State had enacted a special law, known as AP Capital Region Development Act (APCRDA) and was pushing ahead at a breakneck speed to acquire lands. The plan involved large-scale acquisition of fertile farmlands at a huge cost. The burden would be imposed on the people later. It would have serious implications for all regions of the State.

Concerns arising out of the government’s decision to go ahead with the capital city project were not confined to Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali-Mangalagiri (VGTM) region but also would have serious impact on economy in the State as a whole. The people in north Andhra and Rayalaseema would be forced to bear the burden, he said.