The Andhra Pradesh government has authorised the APIIC (AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation) to take back around 250 acres of land in Chittoor, which was allotted to the Amara Raja Infra Pvt Ltd back in 2010. The government has made the decision as the company, Amara Raja Infra (P) Ltd, had not used the land for an SEZ (Special Economic Zone), as agreed upon.
According to orders issued by the Industries and Commerce (Infra) Department on Tuesday, in 2010, Amara Raja Infra had been sold 483.27 acres of undeveloped land by the APIIC, in Yadamarri and Bangarupalem mandals of Chittoor district. Amara Raja Infra was expected to set up an SEZ (Special Economic Zone) on the land within two years, as per the sale agreement, and also generate employment for 20,000 people with an investment of Rs 2,100 crore.
Yet, 10 years later, only 229.66 acres has been utilised by the firm, leaving 253.61 acres of land unutilised, the government order said. The order also noted that only 4,310 people from the region have been employed by the firm so far, as opposed to the promised 20,000 jobs.
The order goes on to say that the sale agreement includes a clause which requires the Amara Raja firm to surrender the land, if it is not used for the purposes for which it was allotted in the first place. The government has now allowed APIIC to take back the un-utilised 253.61 acres, as Amara Raja has â€śfailed to fulfill the promised investment & employment criteria and held the potential land which is worth more than Rs 60.00 Crores without utilization.â€ť
The land given to Amara Raja by APIIC, was part of around 488 acres of government land earlier sold to APIIC in 2009, at Rs 1.8 lakhs per acre, for the establishment of a â€śDigital World City/Industrial Parkâ€ť in Chittoor. Of this, 483.27 acres was sold to Amara Raja Infra at a â€śtentative costâ€ť of Rs 10.7 crore, including administrative and other charges, apart from a process fee Rs 51,30,000.
Amara Raja Infra Pvt Ltd is a construction firm, and is part of the Amara Raja Group of companies. The group was founded by Ramachandra N Galla, who is the father of TDP MP Jayadev Galla. Jayadev is the co-founder and Vice Chairman of Amara Raja Group.
TDP Chief and Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu has objected to the YSRCP governmentâ€™s decision in this regard. He termed the retracting of land as political vendetta against MP Galla Jayadev.
He claimed that Jayadevâ€™s father Galla Ramachandra Naidu, also the founder of the Amara Raja Group, is the highest tax-payer among industrialists in the state, and has contributed to industrial development in Andhra Pradesh.
Claiming that the Amara Raja firm had been planning to continue investing in the Chittoor area, Naidu reiterated the TDPâ€™s stand that the Jagan Mohan Reddy government was driving away investments from the state.