Andhra Pradesh capital land sold even before it was named, says IAS officer Cherukuri Sridhar


HYDERABAD: IAS officer Cherukuri Sridhar, who officiated as APCRDA commissioner between 2016 and 2019, said those in the corridors of power might have used key information to purchase lands in the capital city region even before then government had officially declared the name of the state capital.

Sridhar made startling revelations on how Amaravati land deals were struck in his deposition before the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and in his letter to the chief secretary. He claimed that despite several objections raised by him, then senior officials and ministers did not pay heed to them and resorted to violation of the rules.
Sridhar said an expert committee was constituted in August 2014 to make suggestions on the new capital for the residual state of Andhra Pradesh. Several locations such as Donakonda, Nuzvid, Vijayawada, between Vijayawada and Eluru, Vijayawada and Guntur, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati were considered for locating the capital, he said.

The ministers and the officers at higher level sought information on geography, maps, existing infrastructure, details of lands such as government lands, including assigned lands, assessed waste lands and patta lands from the Guntur district collectorate even prior to receipt of an official memo from the principal secretary, municipal aministration and urban development, he said in the deposition.

“The information about the entire geography and details of land were available with the government and the close corridors of power might have used it for purchasing the lands in the capital city region even before declaration of the capital,” he said.
“Some of the prominent persons or organisations purchased lands in the capital city and its

surroundings before declaration of the new capital. As these purchases were in the capital area and around it, it is obvious that information about the exact location of the capital to be declared was very much within the knowledge of the above persons and their associates who got undue benefit,” Sridhar said in his deposition.

In September 2014, then government announced that the capital city would be centred around Vijayawada.

“It is not known on what basis such a statement was made. Later, a committee of ministers and others was constituted for framing the Land Pooling Scheme on September 24, 2014,” the IAS officer said.

“I was told about the information since land subjects were handled by the joint collector. Before declaration of the capital city, the ministers often visited certain villages in Guntur revenue sub-division for analysing the land pooling issues that may have cropped up and used to enquire with people,” he said.

Courtesy Times Of India

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