A PIL filed in the court alleged huge corruption in the procurement of the wetlands for the government housing scheme, ‘YSR Pedalandariki Illu’.

Man measuring depth of flood water in wetlands in East GodavariFacebook/Adapa Srinivas
news Court Friday, August 28, 2020 - 10:01

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday issued an interim stay order directing the state government to refrain from allotting housing sites in the wetlands of Korukonda mandal in East Godavari. The court issued the stay while hearing a PIL (public interest litigation) filed by a man named Adapa Srinivas, who has claimed that the land chosen by the government has been heavily submerged in the recent floods. The petitioner has also alleged corrupt activities in the acquirement of the land, and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the matter. 

The HC lawyer who appeared on behalf of the petitioner told ABN Telugu that nearly 585 acres of wetlands near Rajahmundry, around Burugupudi village, are being acquired at a cost of Rs 45 lakh per acre, when the land is actually valued at around Rs 7 lakh per acre. He said that rumours have surfaced locally about the role of government officials and political leaders in such corrupt activities, and referred to a report published in the Andhrajyothy daily on the matter. Alleging corrupt activities to the tune of several crores, the lawyer said that a CBI inquiry has been demanded in the matter. 

According to The New Indian Express, the court has issued notices to a Telugu daily (Andhrajyothi) and the state government (to furnish additional information), as well as the CBI, and the next hearing will take place in four weeks. 

Under the ‘YSR Pedalandariki Illu’, or ‘housing for the poor’ scheme, the government had previously announced that the pattas for housing sites will be issued to eligible beneficiaries on Ugadi in March this year. However, the distribution programme has been delayed multiple times, at first due to local body polls scheduled to take place in the state, and later due to the pandemic. 

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has also levelled allegations of a large 'scam' in the housing scheme. He accused YSRCP leaders of using the scheme for their own benefit. Naidu claimed that the value of the land being acquired was being tampered with, allowing YSRCP leaders at the constituency level to "swindle money under the guise of housing for the poor'. 

Read: TDP alleges 'land scam' in Jagan govt's housing project, YSRCP Minister hits back

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