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Land for capital: no statutory notification, AP tells court

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 22, 2015

The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday assured the Hyderabad High Court that it is not issuing any statutory notification for acquiring lands for the capital region immediately.

The assurance was made by Dammalapati Srinivas, Additional Advocate General of AP, to Justice MS Ramachandra Rao in the vacation court.

The judge was dealing with a writ petition filed by Abhista Reality and Ventures and others. They had challenged government order No 166 exempting development of the new capital city project from the Social Impact Assessment and to avoid of multi-crop lands from land acquisition.

According to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, a social impact assessment has to be made prior to land acquisition. Further, unless it is extremely unavoidable, multi-crop lands shall not be acquired.

After the recent amendment to the Act, the infrastructure projects and some vital projects are exempted from these two clauses.

The AP Government issued GO 166 on May 14 declaring that building the capital is development project and the acquisition for capital city is exempt from social impact assessment and ban on acquiring multi crop wetlands.

The petitioners’ advocate, Jandhyala Ravishankar, contended that such exemption was bad in law and building of a capital was not infrastructure development.

The Additional AG said that the word Infrastructure project is an inclusive term and the building of roads buildings and creating other amenities to create infrastructure for the capital is in fact an ‘infrastructure project’.

Justice Rao said this was a serious issue to be adjudicated carefully and wanted the Government to file a counter affidavit. As the Additional AG said they were not in a hurry to issue any notification for land acquisition, the Judge posted the case to second week of June directing the Government to clarify the issues raised by the petitioner.

Published on May 22, 2015
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