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Yeleru panel for steps to prevent land scams

By Our Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM, FEB. 20. Justice B.K. Somasekhara, the one-man commission probing the Yeleru land compensation scam, on Sunday called for fool-proof measures to prevent irregularities connected with acquisition of land for various projects.

Launching an opinion-gathering exercise through an open house discussion here, he said the commission was trying to create awareness to prevent Yeleru-type scams in future. If required, the relevant laws should be amended. Justice Somasekhara, a retired High Court judge, said registration of properties should be computerised all over the State.

Meetings planned

He said the commission would hold a series of meetings in various places by eliciting opinion from academics, lawyers, intellectuals and social activists. Taking part in the discussion, law professor of Andhra University, Sumitra, said the District Collector should not be entrusted with the responsibility of addressing objections raised by people over the acquisition of certain lands. This would help avoid allegations of prejudice on the part of the Collector, she added.

Survey on acquisitions

The Joint Collector, Sandeep Kumar Sultania, said a survey on land acquisitions should be conducted once in two to three years. He said area-wise rates should also be notified periodically by committees set up at the district level. Several speakers suggested that in the interest of the public, in addition to revenue, other departments should also be involved in land acquisition procedures.

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