Experts oppose use of fertile land for Guntur

Objections raised against centralisation of development in the name of capital.

GUNTUR: A team of urban experts, led by former JNTU professor and urban development expert Prof. Amitabh Kundu, has objected to the use of fertile lands for the concrete buildings of Amaravati capital region.

Mr Kundu further objected to the centralisation of development in one area in the name of new capital. Mr Kundu, Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) professor in Urban Studies, Dr C. Ramachandraiah and others visited Venkatapalem, Mandadam, Uddandarayunipalem, Lingayapalem, Tallayapalem, Rayapudi, Tullur, temporary capital Velagapudi and other areas of the Amaravati capital region on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kundu supported the recommendations of the Sivaramakrishnan Co-mmittee for decentralising development and administration in the residuary AP state. He said that already there are a lot of regional inequalities in Andhra Pradesh and centralisation of development would further increase inequalities which is not good for the state.

He pointed out that government appoints committees seeking recommendations but puts their reports aside which is not good. He sought clarifications from the government about pending committee reports.

Mr Kundu said the city designs of Singapore, Japan and other foreign countries is not suitable for Indian climate. The geological conditions of AP and foreign countries are different, so following foreign models is ill advised.

About the committee to study social impact and flood menace, he said this act would have started in the first phase. He added that usually they will not oppose conversion of farmland into residential/commercial/industrial areas but the multi crop Jareebu lands are unique and hence these farmlands should not be converted and should be protected for future generations.

Dr Ramachandraiah said the temporary secretariat is being constructed at 6-8 feet height to save it from floods. He added that the new capital Amaravati would also be constructed at good height and feared that if the floods hit the Amaravati region, all the villages would be marooned.

He said that there is no use for the reconstituted plots if they are prone to floods. He alleged that the government is keeping farmers in the dark about the matter.
Dr Ramachandraiah asked the government to help farmers without misleading them in development, flood and other issues.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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