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Good response to land pooling

Good response to land pooling
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The officials of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) on Saturday claimed that farmers had given consent letters to surrender 21,627 acres of land as part of land pooling mission launched by the government for building capital city.

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Letters to surrender 21,627 acres received, claims CRDA

Hyderabad/Guntur: The officials of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) on Saturday claimed that farmers had given consent letters to surrender 21,627 acres of land as part of land pooling mission launched by the government for building capital city.

As the deadline for land pooling came to an end on Saturday, the branches of the CRDA office bustled with farmers willing to give consent letters for parting with their lands. On Saturday alone, the officials claimed that farmers came forward to surrender 1,227 acres. The government had earlier extended deadlines twice to facilitate farmers who were vacillating on parting with their lands. Ministers P Pulla Rao and P Narayana on Saturday indicated that the government may extend deadline once again for farmers to submit their consent letters.

The officials said in Thulluru alone, as many as 439 farmers had surrendered 716 acres on Saturday. Land pooling in Nelapadu was 98 per cent while in Inavolu it was 95 percent as on Saturday.

The government is still facing stiff resistance from the farmers in the riverfront villagers. The officials have set a target to acquire 12,000 acres of fertile land from the riverfront villages to complete acquisition of 33,000 acres of land. Meanwhile, briefing reporters in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh government Advisor (Communications), Parakala Prabhakar expressed confidence that pooling the additional land required for it to carry out its grand plan of developing a world-class capital city for the state would be completed successfully. "I think we have completed the lion's share of pooling. Thereafter, the government will take a call on whether or not it needs a little more time to meet its target of pooling 30,000 acres of land in the Vijayawada-Guntur region, where the proposed capital is to be developed,” he said.

He said that the resistance from farmers and land owners to the pooling was "minimal" with most of them agreeing with the rationale and the package announced by the state government. "(But) most of those who resisted earlier have come around after they came to know the rationale behind land pooling and saw the kind of package that the government has announced. "A few are holding out, probably mainly for some political reasons. But I don't think it is going to be a real impediment to our efforts to build the capital. The package that the AP government has given is the best so far in India and, so, it is a win-win situation," he said. As per the package, the farmers or landowners after surrendering their land and they would also get a substantial piece of land for residential or commercial purposes.

"They are going to be part of the value addition that goes on accruing to this over the next decades," he said. They will be paid an annuity for 10 years while the landless like agricultural labourers will get social security pension and eligible youth will be encouraged to start their own enterprises. Also, skill development will be imparted to those rendered unable to practice agriculture, he said.

The capital would have three rings –- seed capital area and capital area around it and then the capital region. Singapore government agencies are developing the master plan for the capital free of cost as a goodwill gesture, Prabhakar added.

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