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Why Farmers of AP gave land for Amaravati

For starters, Land pooling is the process where land is voluntarily sought from farmers or land owners. In return, the government gives developed plots to the land owners or farmers along with a yearly sum based on the type of land.
 
Land acquisition: When the government decides to acquire land without the will of the land owners/farmers and will compensate them. In this case, the land owner is not willing but is forced to abide by the decision.
 
In AP’s case, for its capital Amaravati, Land pooling was introduced.
 
Why is land pooling better?
 
It makes development a participatory model, and the key to its success is that it is voluntary.
 
How do land owners/farmers benefit?
 
Once the city is developed in a decade, they will get back almost 30 per cent of their pooled land as ultra-expensive city land. This enables them to see the new city as a road to prosperity, not deprivation.
 
The scheme offers farmers a monthly payment per acre as high or higher than the going leasing rate for farmland. Landless labourers will get a monthly pension of Rs. 2,500.
 
Long-term returns for land owners/farmers:
 
  • Low-cost canteens and skill development centres have been opened to train farmers in new occupations.
  • The new capital is being built in the fertile Krishna- Godavari area where land today costs one to two crore per acre. Naidu has persuaded farmers that, when the city develops, land will be worth Rs. 8-9 crore per acre. So, farmers have surrendered their land voluntarily, expecting a windfall when they get back developed land.
  • Till then, they have a reliable cash flow from monthly government payments, plus opportunities for skilling and taking up other work.
 
What is the Govt giving land owners: 
 
  • AP Govt will give owners of double-cropped land 1,000 sq yards of residential and 200 sq yards of commercial land for every acre of pooled farmland. In addition, they will get an annuity (paid in monthly installments) starting at Rs. 30,000 per year and rising by Rs. 3,000 annually for ten years.
  • Owners of triple-cropped land will get a better deal: 1,000 sq yards of residential land and 450 sq yards of commercial land for every acre pooled. They will also get an annuity starting at Rs. 50,000 per year, rising by Rs. 5,000 annually for a decade.
 
Here’s an example from a meeting I was part of at the Chief Minister’s Office: 
 
In a meeting at the Hyderabad Secretariat with Representatives of Farmers’ associations who were opposing the move, Chief Minister Naidu offered them a choice between pooling in and acquisition, confident that most will ultimately prefer pooling in. While a section of farmers (supporting the Opposition Party) from Mangalagiri did not budge, he convinced them that they would get rightful returns on their land. In one and half hour, the situation was resolved and everyone came to a decision. 
 
Therefore, I believe we also need good leaders to understand the problems of people and explain how something benefits them. In this case, Andhra Pradesh has both.


 

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