The foundation stone laying ceremony of Andhra Pradesh’s capital city Amaravati was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a galaxy of prominent personalities including Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. Amaravati city is expected to cost in excess of $2 bn. Here is all you need to know about how the land pooling process, the most crucial part of the project as it impinges directly on people/farmers involved, was cracked:
1. The Andhra Pradesh government has an identified land bank of 3 lakh acres for Amaravati city and is in the process of consolidating an additional industrial land bank of about 7 lakh acres in a phased manner. The AP government expects fresh investments both from domestic and overseas investors from a consolidated land bank of 10 lakh acres.
2. The state government has enacted AP Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 which helped in creating the Amaravati land bank with all government lands being transferred into it. Besides, the Act helps in land pooling schemes in the capital region. Under this, small parcels of land belonging to various land owners are assembled under irrevocable voluntary and consents and reassembled into planned parcels which are developed and partly returned to owners.
3. The Amaravati Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) was issued in 24 revenue mandals. About 33,733 acres has been pooled which are patta lands, 1034 acres is endowment lands, 50,000 acres of reserve forest land which will be eventually denotified and rest include from land ceiling and unauthorised layouts.
4. However, the farmers in Amaravati who have given consent, are keeping fingers crossed. The tenant farmers are the worst hit in this system. The state government has promised compensation in return with commercial land post the completion of capital, besides an annual compensation, loan waiver and government jobs to the local youth.
5. As per the agreement, the government will pay Rs 1 lakh per acre for horticulture land in Amaravati city. The farmers have to sign the development agreement with the CRDA to avail the compensation. The irrigated land farmers will receive Rs 50,000 per acre as annuity, while the same for the dry land farmers will be Rs 30,000 per acre. The government has fixed these annuities under LPS being implemented for the capital region. The annuity will be paid for 10 years, starting now. The government recently has amended the Clause 2 of Rule 5 of the AP Capital City Land Pooling Scheme (Formulation and Implementation) Rules, 2015. A similar exercise to pay the annuity to landless or tenant farmers will be taken up shortly, say government officials.
6. The government will utilize its share of Amaravati land to develop world-class infrastructure as well as other common amenities, including the capital complex. As part of the land pooling scheme, the government will reconstitute land, develop infrastructure and hand over possession of the developed plots to the land owners within two-and-half years.