The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday stayed the government’s decision to allot land from the capital region in Amaravati to beneficiaries of the government’s housing scheme for the poor. The government had earlier passed an order allotting around 1,250 acres of land pooled by the CRDA (Capital Region Development Authority) to 54,307 beneficiaries of a government scheme called ‘Pedalandariki Illu’. Under the scheme, the government has announced that nearly 25 lakh beneficiaries will receive title deeds to house sites on April 14.
The court was hearing multiple petitions filed by farmers from Krishnayapalem and Thullur villages, according to The New Indian Express.
According to The Hindu, a HC bench comprising Justices AV Sesha Sai and M Satyanarayana Murthy, headed by Chief Justice JK Maheswari, passed an interim order staying the government order allowing the utilisation of CRDA land for the scheme. In an earlier hearing on March 12, the Chief Justice had reportedly expressed concerns over the land pooling scheme, and the bench had reserved the order.
Earlier in February, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department had issued an order stating that the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) will provide around 1,250 acres of land to beneficiaries of the housing scheme in Krishna and Guntur districts.
The New Indian Express reported that the HC in its interim order stated that only the CRDA held the power to issue land for house sites, and that the government’s direct intervention violates the CRDA’s rules.
The CRDA Commissioner had said that as per the APCRDA Act, 2014, up to 5% of land pooled under the previous government’s Land Pooling Scheme towards the development of the capital can be used to provide affordable housing for the poor.
The land allotted was located in the villages of Nowluru, Krishnayapalem, Nidamarru, Inavolu, Kuragallu and Mandadam of the Amaravati capital region. The 54,307 beneficiaries identified by local bodies were from areas administered by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation in Krishna district, the Tadepalli and Mangalagiri municipalities, and a few gram panchayats of Tadepalli, Duggirala, Mangalagiri and Pedakakani mandals of Guntur district.
While some capital area farmers objected to the idea, demanding that economic development in the area must be given priority, a few others had argued that beneficiaries from the Amaravati villages must be given preference before accommodating people from other regions.