Andhra Pradesh government is acquiring farm lands for housing projects as per the law that allows paying an excess amount of three per cent, Agriculture Minister Kurasal Kannababu said on Saturday, as the opposition scaled up attack over the land purchases.
Kannababu said the government is aiming to build 30 lakh houses in the next 2-3 year, finishing at a pace of 15 lakh houses every year, starting from August 26, an official statement said.
For this initiative, the government has decided to use 25,842 acres of government land and acquire 16,078 acres of private lands.
"At least from now on the opposition leaders should avoid such cheap remarks against the government, as people are not going to trust anymore," the statement said quoting the minister, having said at a press conference here.
The minister further said the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders are "unnecessarily creating controversies over the state government housing project and confusing the public".
"Today, TDP leaders are alleging that the state government has acquired lands at an increased price by paying Rs 45 lakh per acre, but during TDP tenure, at the same place Rs 49.27 lakh per acre has been paid," Kannababu said.
Similarly for the Andhra Pradesh Township and Infrastructure Development Corporation (TIDCO) housing project in Dhavaleswaram, 24 acres have been acquired by paying Rs 64 lakh per acre, he said.
"Since the farmers are giving up their lands for a cause, we have to be generous towards them and we followed the rules as per the relevant act and paid at a normal rate," he added.
He said the government has acquired the land as per the guidelines of the Act, which allows paying an excess amount of three per cent and clarified that it is indeed providing house sites more than the number promised.
He also mentioned that the previous TDP government had provided only only 7.5 lakh houses in its five year tenure and handed it over to the beneficiaries. It had also left payment of Rs 4,300 crore dues pending to the housing corporation and TIDCO.