VISAKHAPATNAM:A day after Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu rolled out the red carpet for investors, the district administration has declared that it has 39,448 acres at its disposal for urban infrastructure and industrial development. Over 16,000 acres are readily available with the district administration for allotment. Over 100 projects pertaining to the APIIC, tourism department, educational institutions, industries, VUDA and GVMC were identified in need of these lands and are under various stages of execution.
At a time when the state government is trying hard to promote Vizag city as the economic capital of the state, there were apprehensions over availability of land for investors as the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has around 2,000 acres vacant in its possession as against 23,764 acres allotted by the district administration till date. The APIIC has submitted a requisition for another 3,250 acres in the district.
However, at a media conference at the Collectorate Thursday, district collector N Yuvaraj tried to clear the doubts over the issue. “The district administration had enough land available for all projects and have been forwarding proposals to the state government only after investors have zeroed in on the land required,” he said.
The revenue officials have identified 19,933 acres vacant revenue land at 195 locations in Visakhapatnam division and another 19,515 acres at 193 locations in Anakapalle division besides a few more acres under identification in Narsipatnam division. “These lands include the deemed-to-be forest lands, lands alienated to VUDA, the armed forces and other purposes including industrial and tourism projects. We have over 16,000 acres readily available for allotments,” he declared.
The officials have prepared a land inventory identifying large land blocks in three categories like less than 25 acres, more than 25 acre and over 100-acre blocks. Efforts are now being made to identify blocks with more than 500 acres. The district administration has proposed to put all revenue records in public domain to ensure transparency and the issue is pending with the CM.
When questioned about the availability of land for infrastructure projects like the metro rail, the district collector clarified that so far, no proposal was put forward to the district administration in this regard. “The project is likely to be an elevated track where the medians of the roads will be used. In case of places for metro railway stations, we do not expect any problem,” he said. The revenue authorities are contemplating launching stringent action against those occupying prime government lands.
On the alleged violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) norms and environmental regulations by permitting constructions in forest lands, Yuvaraj said that the denotification of the forest lands would be taken up within the parameters set by the existing laws. “Following our request, the forest department has agreed to alienate 3,000 acres land, identified at the foothill of five places including Seetakonda and Errakonda areas. These lands will be used for specific purposes as per the permissions given by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests,” he said.