‘There are a number of misconceptions about the land being pooled’

V Rishi Kumar | Updated on January 24, 2018

Srikant Nagulapalli, Commissioner, AP Capital Region Development Authority

Mandate is for a world- class capital: APCRDA Commissioner

Entrusted with the task of land pooling in the proposed capital region, Srikant Nagulapalli, Commissioner, AP Capital Region Development Authority, says the mandate is to build a world-class capital. Sitting at a makeshift office in Thullur, he outlines the plans and progress. Excerpts -

How was the land pooling process implemented?

After deciding on setting up the capital city, the Government has identified 29 villages where they would pool in 34,000 acres of land for the capital region. After the AP CRDA Act was enacted last year, the rules governing it were framed. Thereafter, notification was issued for voluntary pooling of land by offering 10-year annuity payment, waiver of farm loans, offer of free education and various other incentives including allotment of developed land.

What is CRDA's mandate?

We have a mandate to pool in 34,000 acres of private land and develop a world-class capital city. Of this, owners of 30,000 acres have given consent voluntarily as part of the scheme.

About 4,000 acres abutting the river Kirshna had raised issue of the Jareeb lands and wanted higher compensation. The Government has agreed to do so. Of the 25 revenue villages, in 22 of them, over 95 per cent have given consent, in three other villages, more than 50 per cent have agreed to be part of the scheme.

Once the consent is given, they enter into agreement. We are in the advanced stage of completing the most complex process of land pooling ever attempted. Meanwhile, with the Singapore Government submitting its master plans, the notification covering the area would soon follow. By July end, the whole process would be concluded.

There is a perception that you are taking away fertile land...

There are a number of misconceptions about the land. It is not part of the Command Area of Krishna delta but is upstream. In 50 per cent of the cropped area, cotton is grown, and in the rest maize and vegetables are grown. Most of the lands are rain-fed. Some of the lands on the banks of the river are dependent on ground water and lift irrigation schemes. In fact, this whole area was classified as dry land right from 1908.

How did the pooling process work out?

Most of the land holdings are small - one to two acres. There are about 1,03,000 people in the area. Of them, about 30,000 work in Vijayawada and another 30,000 are workers. Soon skilling process for those registered would be initiated and they are likely to be inducted in the local manufacturing units.

A few cases have been filed against the whole process…

The CRDA was created conforming to various enactments and it does not violate any of the existing laws. It is framed on the model guidelines of Union Urban Development Ministry. There are also concerns that it would impact food security. But the region does not grow paddy, wheat or millets.

How will you fund the capital project?

We will require billions of dollars to implement the capital project in a phased manner.

The funding would have to come from overseas lending agencies, the Central Government, market borrowings, private investors, and through public-private partnership, where viability gap funding is provided.

— V Rishi Kumar

Published on June 08, 2015

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