VISAKHAPATNAM: The bid of private players to grab over 300 acres of land assigned to SC, ST farmers at Mudapaka village in Pendurthi mandal has been foiled with the timely intervention of BJP MLA P Vishnukumar Raju. Collector Pravin Kumar ordered a probe.
The government has assigned the land to landless SC and ST farmers. Having sensed that the VUDA has decided to acquire land under the land pooling system for some development projects, private parties are eyeing the stretch. Claiming that they had government permission to acquire the land, private players convinced farmers to sell them the stretches and even have made purchase agreements, the MLA said on Monday.
The investors fixed the price at `10 lakh per acre and even offered `1 lakh in advance. The farmers, fearing that the government might take back the lands, are selling them. Some local leaders, who mediated the deals, are paid `2 lakh per acre by land sharks.
Under the land pooling agreements, the VUDA has plans to acquire 1,210 sqyards per acre of ceded land and planning to fetch `10,000 from the developed site which means the total stretch would cost `1.21 crore. But ahead of it, private players have plans to grab the land by investing just `15 lakh, the MLA said.
According to the AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act-1977, assigned land should not be bought or sold. However, ex-service men and freedom fighters can dispose of the land after 10 years from the date of assignment. But landless poor selling the assigned land is illegal. The scam surfaced after land sharks threatened some farmers who are reluctant to sell the land. The private parties even have cut trees and started laying roads on the assigned land, with the help of musclemen.
“Recently, some farmers approached me and explained the entire episode. I took them to police commissioner T Yoganand who immediately deputed police and seized proclainers being used in road works. Then, 30 more farmers met me saying that they had signed the agreements with private persons. They also signed on blank promissory notes and handed over their pattas,” Vishnukumar Raju said.