BRS to stay away from land acquisition for infra projects in poll year
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: With the state due for elections later this year, the state government has put on hold land acquisition for infrastructure projects, including the Hyderabad regional ring road (RRR) and master plans in municipality areas, due to stiff resistance from landowning farmers.
Concerned by the mounting opposition, the government has directed revenue officials in districts not to proceed with land acquisition until further orders, sources said, adding that the government may not take up any project for which land is to be acquired.
After severe opposition from farmers during public hearings for the RRR project land acquisition in Siddipet, Medak, Sangareddy and Yadadri in December 2022, hearings and surveys in Bhongir, Choutuppal, Ibrahimpatnam, Kandukur and Chevella have been put on on hold.
The chief complaint of farmers is that the government was offering them meagre compensation, when compared to market prices.
Besides the RRR issue, the government’s plan to revamp existing master plans or lay out new master plans for 91 municipalities and corporations also ran into a roadblock due to the intense agitation programmes launched by farmers and backed by opposition parties in Kamareddy, Jagtial and Nirmal.
The Centre has been repeatedly writing to the state government to hand over land and deposit its 50 per cent share for land acquisition for the RRR project. Despite five letters being written to the Chief Secretary in the past three months, the lack of response indicates that the government is not keen to undertake land acquisition in the election year, even as it allocated Rs 500 crore for the same in the state Budget.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is executing the RRR project, estimated land compensation at Rs 5,170 crore for the 162-kilometre northern part of the RRR.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha on January 2, the Union minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, informed that the state government is yet to deposit its 50 per cent share. He added that as such, the Centre was unable to issue a notification under Section 3D of the National Highways Act,1956, for acquiring the land.