The government asked district collectors to look into the complaints about the land acquisition process and submit a report.
The ruling YSR Congress legislators had lodged complaints about large-scale irregularities in their constituencies over land acquisition process. The opposition TDP is likely to move the high court over the issue. The government had already spent close to Rs 4,500 crore to acquire nearly 2,000 acre land for house sites from private parties.
When many district collectors told the government that adequate land was not available in their districts to grant house sites, the government had spared additional funds to the programme with a directive to go ahead with land acquisition.
The government had wanted to distribute about 27 lakh house sites to the poor during Ugadi in March.
Critics allege that revenue officials resorted to irregularities in the land acquisition process. One such instance was brought to light by Ponnur legislator Kilari Rosaiah. Rosaiah requested district collector Samuel Anand Kumar to take action alleging field officials looted nearly Rs 80 crore during land acquisition.
With the district collector not responding to the issue, Rosaiah wrote to the government prompting principal secretary V Usha Rani to direct the collector to submit a report. “Officials paid nearly four times high prices after striking deals with middlemen,” alleged Rosaiah.
Former TDP MLA Alapati Rajendraprasad alleged that Rs 150 crore were misappropriated in Tenali constituency for land acquisition.
A farmer of Burugapudi village in West Godavari district has filed a PIL in the High Court alleging that 177 acres of flood-prone land were acquired by paying Rs 43 to Rs 63 lakh per acre against a market price of Rs 5-7 lakh per acre. The high court has stayed payments to landlords in the case.