Hinduja land allotment: PAC faults government
HYDERABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which met here on Tuesday, took serious objection to the way 1,100 acres of land was allotted to the Hinduja National Power Corporation Limited ( HNPCL) by the state government to set up a merchant power plant at Madhurawada in Visakhaptnam district. Though, the government allotted the land, it had decided to buy power from HNPCL at market price.Finding fault at this, the PAC constituted a committee with principal secretary (revenue), energy secretary and principal secretary (minority welfare) as members and directed them to submit the land allotment details of Hinduja power project within a month.The PAC has also decided to visit the Hinduja project site and other lands allotted to private persons during their visit to Visakhapatnam on April 23 and 24.The PAC members noted that the Hinduja was allotted 1,100 acres land more than ten years ago and as per the agreement the company should complete the project within five years failing which the power purchase agreement would stand cancelled. But, Hindujas approached the government and revived the land lease after five years. They planned to set up a 1,040 MW coal-based power plant in the said land. Of the total 1,100 acres, 500 acres was Wakf property. Objecting to allotting Wakf lands to Hinduja power project some individuals approached the court and the case is pending adjudication. Later, the Hindujas wanted to return the Wakf lands, but the local Wakf Board, for reasons not known, refused to take back the lands.The PAC wondered why should the government purchase power from Hindujas by paying market price, when the government allotted land to it. “PAC chairman Revuri Prakash Reddy accepted our proposal to visit and review the land allotments to Hinduja project,” PAC member and Congress MLA K Kannababu said.TDP MLA Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao said that during their visit to Visakhapatnam on April 23 and 24, they would also visit other VUDA lands which were allotted to private persons at throw away prices.A PAC member pointed out that around 4,800 acres was allotted to private persons between 1981 and 2009. But, those private parties could not even pay the nominal price fixed by the government so far.In another instance, Hyagreeva Farms were allotted around 20 acres for just Rs 5 crore. The actual market value of the land at Madhurawada was Rs 115 crore. The PAC would also review lands allotments in and around Hyderbad, Tirupati and other important towns. The PAC would review Jalayagnam works in its next meeting on April 17 and 18.