Andhra CM’s 3-capital plan creates troubles for Vijayawada airport expansion
The decision of the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh to create three capitals for the state with the administrative capital being shifted from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam has created hurdles for expansion of the Gannavaram airport near Vijayawada.
Hundreds of farmers, who had given away around 1229 acres of land to the state government in 2016 under land pooling scheme (LPS) for the expansion of the airport by the Airport Authority of India, are now refusing to move out unless the government pays them a huge compensation.
During the Telugu Desam Party’s reign, these farmers, belonging to Ajjampudi, Allapuram, Atkuru, Buddhavaram, Chinavutapalli, Kesrapalli and Gannavaram were allotted residential and commercial plots of the size 1,000 square yards and 200 sq yards respectively in the capital region of Amaravati in lieu of the lands they had surrendered to the government for the airport expansion.
They signed an agreement with the then AP Capital Region Development Authority to that effect and were allotted plots in different localities of Amaravati in 2018, as per the master plan.
However, with the Jagan Mohan Reddy government dumping the Amaravati capital city project and deciding to go in for the three- capital plan, the farmers of Gannavaram airport region are left in the lurch.
A farmer from Buddhavaram village, who did not want to be named, said the farmers were allotted plots in Amaravati only on paper, but had not been given possession of the sites, as the development of Amaravati was still in progress.
“Now that the present government has abandoned the capital plan at Amaravati, our plots have no value there. We want our lands back or be paid compensation as per the law,” he said.
Those who surrendered lands to the state government also include high profile people like former Union minister and senior BJP leader U V Krishnam Raju and popular Telugu film producer C Ashwini Dutt, who had bought agriculture lands and developed farm houses and orchards.
On Monday, Ashwini Dutt filed a petition in the state high court seeking a direction to the state government to pay compensation of ₹210 crore towards 39.15 acres of land he had surrendered to the government at Kesrapalli village for the Gannavaram airport expansion.
He said his land was located in a prime commercial area around the airport and the registration value of the land is around ₹1.25 crore to ₹1.50 crore per acre. He demanded that the government pay four times the value of the land as compensation before taking possession of the land for the airport.
“As per the clause in the agreement signed with the APCRDA, we have the right to claim compensation and damages if the APCRDA breaches the agreement. Now that APCRDA has been abolished and construction of the capital city is abandoned, there is no hope for development of Amaravati, where we were allotted plots. So, we are constrained to invoke the clause and seek damages,” Dutt said in his petition.
Meanwhile, Krishnam Raju also filed a similar petition in the high court seeking adequate monetary compensation for his 31 acres of land at Kesrapalli, which he had surrendered to the government for airport expansion.