The Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority(VMRDA)will get about 500-acre bulk land parcel(s) in return for the expenses that it incurred on the development of one-cent layouts.
In all, the VMRDA has developed 81 layouts, namely ‘Jagananna housing colonies’, to provide housing sites to nearly 1.4 lakh people in the combined Visakhapatnam district under the ‘Navaratnalu – Pedalandariki Illu’ programme. While the Revenue wing has taken care of land pooling, the responsibility of development and infrastructure creation in these layouts has been bestowed upon the VMRDA.
The urban development authority consequently spent nearly ₹150 crore on layout development and other preliminary works in these one-cent layouts. These plots have been spread in about 5,000 acres in various mandals in the combined Visakhapatnam district like Anakapalli, Anandapuram, Gajuwaka, Peda Gantyada, Padmanabham, Parawada, Pendurthi, Sabbavaram, etc.
The state government earlier accorded its administrative sanction to the VMRDA to expend ₹150 crore towards development of these layouts. In return, the VMRDA is supposed to get a 15% share of the land. However, the VMRDA has recently requested the state government to provide it with bulk land parcels instead of the 15% of land in each layout.
Visakhapatnam district collector and the VMRDA metropolitan commissioner Dr A Mallikarjuna said that the VMRDA has written a letter to the government to this effect. “The bulk land will create more demand and generate more revenue to the VMRDA than owning a 15% share in each of these 81 layouts. We got approval for the same in the VMRDA board meeting. The VMRDA may get around 500 acres of land, based on the cost basis, as an alternative to the 15% share. About 239-acre land parcel has been preliminarily identified in Bheemili mandal. The search is on for the remaining land. The decision has been taken as it augurs well for the financial health of the VMRDA. The urban development authority has increased its focus on resource mobilisation,” said Mallikarjuna.
The collector added that the VMRDA will spend another Rs 50 crore on creation of advanced infrastructure apart from the already expended Rs 150 crore on development of these layouts.
The VMRDA launched development works on these layouts about three years ago. But court cases filed against the land pooling process stalled the progress. The Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed the case only in the first quarter of 2022, paving for resumption of leftover works.