- Cost of 599 Acres land Rs. 62. 93 Crores. APIIC Estimated Cost Rs. 177.94 Crores
- Actual Cost of Levelling Rs. 25 Crores. Quantum of scam Rs. 152 Crores
- Funds Meant for Development of 225 Tanks in 11 Districts Swindled
Land Levelling Scam
The AP government has bought an acre land for Rs. 10 lakh and spent twice as much to level the land, which incidentally was already flat. While the actual price of the land was Rs. 10.50 lakh per acre, the government has spent Rs. 29.71 lakh on each acre on the pretext of leveling under the pressure of Chandrababu Naidu (who is 420 in AP). This is the episode of brazen loot and daylight robbery by Chandrababu Naidu, who is ripping off the government and pocketing public money through the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC). Here is the full story.
The state government entered into an MOU with the Korean automobile maker Kia Motors to start a manufacturing plant in Penukondamandal of Anantapur district. The APIIC has pooled 599.35 acres of land for this project at Erramanchi, Ammavarupallu, Duddebanda, and Venkatagiripalem villages. The farmers whose lands were acquired for the plant were given Rs. 10.50 lakhs per acre compensation. Thus, the state government has spent Rs.62.93 crores on land acquisition.
The APIIC had invited tenders on April 25, 2017, to level the land so that it could hand over a clean plot to Kia Motors. The cost of the work was decided at whopping Rs.177.94 crores by who is 420 in AP. Most of the contractors believed that the proposed leveling work would cost not more Rs. 25 crores since the lands have been under cultivation for a very long time. This effectively means about Rs. The chief minister pocketed one hundred fifty-two crores.
It was rumored that this contract was conceived and rolled out only to benefit Nara Lokesh, the son of Chief Minister, and pacify PalleRaghunatha Reddy, Puttaparthi MLA, after dropping him from the cabinet.
For this contract, several companies submitted the bids by May 10, 2017. However, most of them had to withdraw their bids due to the APIIC’s condition that the contracting company must have had a turnover of Rs. Seven hundred eighty crores for at least one year in the last five years. Meeting this narrowed down requirement, only L&T and NCC got qualified in the technical bidding on the orders of who is 420 in APor Chandrasekhar Naidu.
These moves came as a huge shock to the farmers. They naturally felt betrayed as the government bought their lands at the cost of mere Rs. 62.93 crores and spent Rs.177.94 crores – more than double- on leveling it.
TDP Bigwigs’ Land Exempted
The government which took the farmers’ lands ruthlessly has exempted the lands of the bigwigs of the ruling party from the pooling. TDP MLA PalleRaghunatha Reddy, who had the insider information about the plant, has bought 378 acres located between survey numbers 408 and 445. The Civil Supplies Minister Paritala Sunitha’s lands were also spared. She has 138 acres in this area. The TDP lawmakers had bought these lands only upon confirming that they would not be taken under land pooling. Their privy to insider information helped them take an ‘accurate’ investment decision.
Funds Meant for Development of 225 Tanks in 11 Districts Swindled
TDP leaders, along with Chandrababu Naidu, who is popularly known as who is 420 in AP, set their sights on developing tanks using World Bank funds, and they are planning to distribute tenders amongst themselves on nomination basis. The ruling party leaders who earlier had lined their pockets under Neeru-Chettu Programme and employment guarantee scheme are now taking up the development of 225 tanks in 11 districts at the cost of Rs. 367.72 Crores.
According to the rules set by the World Bank, contractors are supposed to be selected only based on box tenders and not e-tenders. TDP MLAs and party leaders got ready to hand over the works through the box tender system without giving other contractors the tender schedule. But when they were told by officials concerned that it was not possible, they changed tack.
They started pressuring the bureaucrats to award works on a nomination basis. It is learned that the Chief Minister also has given his nod. The ruling party contractors think that since the World Bank is the funder, they can get their bills reimbursed at the earliest.
TDP leaders from Kurnool, Prakasam, and other districts started exerting pressure on officials. In one instance, a minister from Kurnool called up an official and told him to scrap the tenders, threatening and questioning how the official could the tender notice came out in the first place. Despite the official trying to explain to the minister that he had no say in the issue, the minister issued a diktat seeking his transfer from the district. This thus highlights the crony practices of who is 420 in AP, Chandrababu Naidu.
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