AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh government will borrow Rs 5,000 crore from public sector HUDCO to purchase over 12,000 acres of land, to be distributed to the landless poor across the state.
The state government has announced it will distribute house sites and housing units to over 25 lakh beneficiaries on Telugu New Year's Day Ugadi on March 25. Officials estimated that a total of over 40,000 acres of land would be required for distribution to the landless poor.
While about 27,000 acres of government land was identified for distribution, another 15,000 acres has to be acquired from private people. In some districts, lands earmarked for industrial promotion are also being converted into housing sites since there has been no industrial development in the last few years, official sources said.
"We will have to purchase about 12,000 acres from farmers and other landlords while another 3,000 acres will be secured under a land pooling scheme. To purchase the land, we require about Rs 5,000 crore and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) has agreed to lend the money," a Revenue Department official said.
Initially the government estimated that 19,000 acres would have to be purchased at a cost of over Rs 10,000 crore. The state government approached LIC Housing Finance to fund the amount, treating it as a housing project and not merely house site distribution. "But we managed to identify extra government land and to that extent the need for acquisition has come down.
The financial burden on the government has also reduced significantly and HUDCO has come forward to arrange the necessary loan," the Revenue official added.
But the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) made false propaganda against the state government which is making attempts to allot land to poor. They created rumours that the government was taking over Hindu Endowment lands.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh tried to defame the state government with fake publicity against the ruling party for their political benefit. Howeve Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivas gave a strong counter reply to this and said that there was no move to give away temple lands. "It is all false propaganda," he said. (PTI)