Amaravati, the land Chandrababu Naidu wanted to make the best capital city in the world, has crashed. In terms of real estate prices. This was after YS Jaganmohan Reddy brought almost all construction work taking place in the capital region to a halt.
Naidu had acquired 33000 acres of fertile land from close to 28000 farmers in 29 villages in Krishna and Guntur districts under a land pooling arrangement. As per this agreement, the farmers were promised 1000 sq yards of residential and 250 sq yards of commercial land for each acre of land given to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA). Since the capital project was a long gestation project, the agreement envisaged each farmer getting Rs 30000 to 50000 per acre as rent (depending on whether the land was fertile or not), with a 10 per cent increase every year.
With Jagan calling it a scam to benefit a few top leaders of the Telugu Desam, Amaravati’s stock has gone down. Property dealers who had mushroomed in the area in the last four years, say there are no buyers for apartments or villas or even land. A one acre plot that went for Rs 1-1.5 crore depending on its location now has gone down to Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore. Even the farmers who were to receive the Rs 30000 to 50000 for the year in May, have not received it till now.
Krishna Rao, a farmer who gave up his land on which he grew three crops a year, in the hope of getting a pot of gold a decade later is keeping his fingers crossed.
“The government is a permanent entity. Decisions involving so many people cannot be changed overnight, with the change in the party in power. The new CM should clarify on the status of Amaravati. After all, we all gave our land,” says Krishna Rao.
The YSRCP government is not making any bones about its intention to probe Amaravati. Party general secretary YV Subba Reddy says it will investigate the land sale deals that were struck before and after the announcement of the capital.
Moreover, if Jagan goes ahead with the appointment of Alla Ramakrishna Reddy as the new Chairman of CRDA, it would reveal his mind. Reddy, a practising farmer was one of the fiercest critics of the land pooling arrangement and can be expected to dismantle much of the work done by the previous regime.
The Telugu Desam on the other hand, is livid at how Brand Amaravati is being diluted. Nara Lokesh, who incidentally lost to Ramakrishna Reddy in the Mangalagiri constituency, says every effort is being made to kill it. Naidu had estimated that it will cost Rs 50000 crore to build the 21st century modern capital and had brought in experts from Singapore to help with the capital plan.
“The Governor’s address to the new Assembly last week did not even mention Amaravati. Consultants and workers are leaving Amaravati because work has been stopped,” Lokesh told Filter Kaapi.
Early this year, Amaravati had hosted the Happy Cities Summit. Looking at its present state, Amaravati with its fertile land with the Krishna flowing by can be best defined as Past Perfect, Present Tense.
And the future looks bleak as well.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh