TDP threatens to take back auctioned government lands

March 2nd, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 2 (IANS) Setting aside their differences for a time being, the opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh Sunday came together to stage ‘maha dharna’ (mega sit-in) against auction of government lands, and warned both the government and bidders of serious consequences. The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) warned the successful bidders that if the party came to power in the next year’s elections, it would take back the auctioned lands.

Leaders and activists of TDP, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) participated in the sit-in at Bapu Ghat here.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) did not join in as its leaders were away in Delhi for a sit-in to press their demand for separate Telangana state.

The opposition parties argued that the government had no right to auction prime public lands to private companies.

TDP president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu warned the Congress government that continued land auctions would have serious consequences.

“If the government goes on auctioning the lands, the poor will have no land to build houses on,” he said.

Naidu, who was the chief minister from 1995 to 2004, also cautioned those buying the lands. “If we come back to power, we will take back all these lands and distribute them among the poor,” he said.

The government has earned Rs.36.35 billion by auctioning the lands in Hyderabad and surrounding areas during the last four years.

Urban Development and Municipal Administration Minister K. Ranga Rao informed the state legislature Feb 26 that the government earned Rs.5.52 billion from auctions in Hyderabad, Rs.30.57 billion in Ranga Reddy district and Rs.260 million in Medak.

The Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) plans to raise more money by auctioning prime lands in and around the state capital.

The government plans to use part of this revenue for undertaking infrastructure projects, including Outer Ring Road (ORR), P.V. Narasimha Rao Express Way and other road projectsin the city.

The land prices in and around Hyderabad increased 200 times during the last few years, thanks to the information technology boom, new international airport, ORR and dozens of proposed townships and special economic zones.

Several real estate firms, infrastructure companies and big business houses bought prime lands for their mega projects.

Meanwhile, activists of TDP stalled the government land auction in coastal city of Visakhapatnam Sunday. Dozens of party workers barged into a building where the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) was auctioning 60 acres of land near the city. The police arrested about 100 protestors.

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