Hyderabad: The Chief Minister Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday announced in the State Assembly that the government would soon formulate a comprehensive and fool-proof policy for allotment of lands for setting up various projects in the state.
Intervening during question hour when the opposition as well as ruling Congress members expressed apprehensions and concern over the misuse of land allotted to various private firms for establishing various projects, the Chief Minister assured that the State Government would review all the land allotments made so far and ascertain whether they were properly utilized for the purpose for which they were assigned.
Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy explained that in order to check any misuse, the government would soon come out with a comprehensive policy in the matter of allotment of lands for setting up projects in the state. The Central Government has proposed to set up a major port in the state and the government would allot the required land wherever it was sought, he stated.
The Chief Minister pointed out that while making land allotments to the projects, it was imperative take proper steps to protect the interests and livelihood of the people. The state was keen on the establishment of the proposed new port by the Government of India and the required land for the purpose would be made available, he added.
Pointing out that the state was endowed with a vat coast line, he felt that there was need for undertaking a comprehensive study to formulate the viability and feasibility plan for setting up projects on the costal line. This was necessary to ensure that the livelihood of thousands of families who depend on fishing and prawn culture, was not affected, he said.
The Chief Minister said that the state would constitute an experts committee to undertake the study and submit its report. He assured that the views of the Opposition parties would also be sought before the finalization of the report.
PROBE DEMANDED INTO LAND ALLOTMENTS
Replying to the main question of Lok Satta member Dr. Jaya Prakash Narayan, the Minister for Ports, Infrastructure and Investments, Mr. Komatireddy Venkat Reddy earlier informed that the Government of India was contemplating to establish a second major port and shipyard in the state and the process of identification of a suitable location was in progress.
When asked whether a private port has been given rights over a vast stretch of coast in Nellore and Prakasam districts, the Minister agreed that a private port developed under PPP mode and BOST basis situated in Nellore district has been given exclusive rights for 140 kms. He refuted the claim that the required stretch of coast which could be made available for establishing government-owned ports was allocated to privately owned or managed ports. He asserted that there was enough stretch of coast available for establishing government-owned as well as private ports.
The Lok Satta member wanted the government to change the MOUs made earlier with private firms, while a Congress member Mr. Jogi Ramesh expressed concern over the modernization of the port at Machilipatnam, work on which was begun in 2008 by the then YSR regime. Another Congress member Mr. G. Ravi Kumar wondered why land allotments were made to a single firm for three projects. A senior ruling party member Mr. Gade Venkat Reddy and PRP members demanded the constitution of a House committee to probe into land allotments made so far.(NSS).