Andhra Pradesh government allots land for measly Re 1 per acre

Kurnool airport will be built by state corp, pvt builder.

Hyderabad: One rupee can’t buy you a cup of tea but the state government has sold 638.83 acres of land in Kurnool district to the Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation for one rupee an acre for the construction of a green field airport at Orvakal in Kurnool district. The land is valued at Rs 20 lakh per acre. Of the 638.83 acres the state government has so generously given BIACL, 67.76 acres lie in Kannamadakala, 456.10 acres in Pudicherla and 114.97 acres in Orvakal.

The AP Land Manage-ment Authority had recommended to the government that the land be sold for Rs 8 lakh per acre subject to certain conditions. The state government had agreed and issued orders on February 3, 2017. But the managing director of BIACL wrote to the state government that the rate fixed by the government was too high and would place a heavy burden on the Corporation and make the airport project unviable.

He wrote that the project was in the public interest and requested the government to allot the land free of cost or for a nominal price of Rs 1 lakh per acre instead of Rs 8 lakh per acre. The state government then issued orders allotting the same land for just one rupee per acre, though BIACL had itself suggested Rs 1 lakh per acre.

Defending the government's decision, a senior IAS officer told this newspaper that the IACL was 100 per cent owned by the state government and was not a private corporation. So there was nothing odd in the government's decision to allot the land for just one rupee per acre. But this airport will be constructed under the public private partnership mode by BIACL, which will involve a private firm.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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