The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) will shoulder the responsibility of developing nearly 6,150 acres land. Land pockets across 10 mandals in the district, are being pooled by the district administration for distribution of housing sites to eligible beneficiaries under the ‘Pedalandariki Illu’ scheme.
As per a government order released on Saturday, the VMRDA will retain a 15 per cent share of the developed land to meet the expenses incurred. It has been estimated that the development of each acre of land will cost around Rs 50 lakh.
The developmental activities will include making plots, roads and a drainage system. Nearly 1.5 lakh beneficiaries have been found eligible for this scheme.
Speaking to TOI, VMRDA metropolitan commissioner P Koteswara Rao said that the development costs per acre varies from mandal to mandal based on the terrain and varied geological conditions. “The VMRDA will get 15% of the developed land for developing these lands,” Koteswara Rao said.
These 6,100 acre lands are primarily owned by the government and are being enjoyed by assignees and encroachers for decades. Under the land pooling scheme, the assignees will get 900 square yards developed plot per acre.
Encroachers who have settled for more than 10 years will be given 450 square yards plot per acre. Those who have been squatting for 5to 10 years will get 250 square yards land.
After allotting their share of the developed land to individuals and setting aside 15% for the VMRDA, the remaining part of the developed land will be vested with the district collector for housing scheme for weaker sections.
The state government, through an order released on Saturday also included encroached lands and lands specified in the AP Assigned Lands (POT) Act, 1977in the land pooling scheme.
These lands were beyond the purview of guidelines issued in the earlier orders. But the state government is taking up the housing scheme as a special case and a one time measure to distribute housing sites to the homeless and weaker sections of society.
However, the Left parties have demanded the state government to stall the on-going land pooling exercise in the district as it will deprive farmers of their livelihood.