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Probe APIIC land deals: FBV

Special Correspondent

Lands given to industry at prices far below market value, it alleges


CAG reports provide documentary evidence, says FBV convener

APIIC has failed to take back lands when bidders defaulted, he alleges


VISAKHAPATNAM: Convener of Forum for Better Visakha E.A.S. Sarma has urged APIIC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director B.R. Meena to immediately probe several “irregularities” in acquiring and allotting of lands by the APIIC.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Meena, he expressed apprehension that many officers of the APIIC, officials of the State Government and politicians had benefited from these deals.

“Their names should come out into the open at the earliest. The Emaar MGF is only the tip of the iceberg, but till date the names of the officers and others who have got villas from the Emaar have not been revealed,” he observed.

‘Acts violated'

The APIIC had acquired lands prohibited for industrial use in violation of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, CRZ regulations of 1991, the wetland policy of the Union Environment & Forests Ministry, Water, Land, Trees Act, 2002, of AP, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the Supreme Court norms on conservation of hills and water bodies, Mr. Sarma contended.

The corporation had handed over the lands to industry at prices far lower than the market value, causing loss to the exchequer and the CAG reports during the last few years provide documentary evidence of this impropriety, he opined.

It failed to take back the lands when bidders defaulted, he said. For many mega project developers, the APIIC had violated the competitive bidding procedure and an independent probe by the CBI would reveal the truth in the Pharmacity, Nagarjuna Construction Company's land in Sompeta, East Coast Energy's land in Bhavanapadu, the land handed over to Meghavaram Power and the ANRAK's land in Makavaripalem, he said.

He referred to two letters he had written to the Chief Secretary on January 10 and August 14 in this respect. He alleged that the APIIC was fully aware of the market value of lands it had acquired for industry. While the KPMG had been asked to inquire into the deals from 2002 onwards, it could at best look into the efficacy of the contracts entered into by the APIIC with the developers. Special attention was needed on 11 points he mentioned in his letter, Mr. Sarma added.

The KPMG, without any technical competence to probe, might even have a conflict of interests, in case it had directly or indirectly benefited from any of the developers whose contracts it was required to look into, he concluded.

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