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Amaravati lands scam — the most important chapter in a text book of scams

The ‘insider trading’ scam of Amaravati lands will become the most important chapter in a text booking of scams published for business school students,” said a senior administrator who has seen the rule of several governments. The scam began with the playing on the
sentiments of a people who were unceremoniously cut out from a huge state and lost a vibrant capital in the process, he explained.
Playing on the mood of the people of the new state a “world class city” like Singapore or Shanghai was offered to the people of Andhra Pradesh, which on bifurcation becomes a state with the least of resources.
Mr A Rama Rao who owns a few acres of land in Thullur village selected to be the core area of the new capital saw it as a dream come true. He was told that his son and daughter who were doing engineering need not go away from home and they would get plum jobs right at
their doorstep.
Then he was told that the Government of Singapore was preparing a master plan with all the necessary infrastructure addressing all the problems like floods, etc. The Government came up with a novel idea for acquiring thousands of acres needed for
building the capital, mainly from farmers and others owning land. They were given an impression that they would be partners in the wonderful project of building a new capital. People who belong to the state from all over the world were asked to partake in the grand
capital building exercise.
After the Singapore Consortium came up with a master plan for Amaravati which had incorporated in it half a dozen cities (health city, education city etc.) the government conducted a competition for architects from all over the world to come up with plans and designs for a world class Legislative Assembly, Secretariat, courts and other administrative infrastructure.
Artists version of a city that was more impressive than downtown Shanghai, Singapore or Hong Kong were released to the media. By then Mr Rama Rao and others like him. were ready to give all their land for building of the capital. While this massive unprecedented real estate promotion went on, there were others that caused great anxiety to farmers and others who gave their land for construction of the capital. Some environment lovers approached the Supreme Court with the plea that there was no “environmental clearance” to Amaravati. These activists also claimed that the new capital was flood and earthquake-prone.
The apex court referred the case to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which went into the different aspects but ultimately gave permission with a lot of conditions. The best architects in the world were used to keep alive the dream of a world class capital that would generate all the revenue needed to transform Andhra Pradesh into a turbo of economic growth. Maki and Associates of Japan and Norman Foster of UK came up with excellent plans and designs for the city and buildings of Amaravati. Popular film-maker Rajamouli was also recruited to make Amaravati an ultimate tourist
attraction.
“Underneath this fairy tale is the harsh reality. Most Ministers including the erstwhile Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had bought land in the area before it became public that the capital was coming up there give it the tag of ‘insider trading’. In a follow up offence the
Ministers also manipulated the officials to ensure that their properties were not acquired for building the capital so that they could sell or develop them in a way that was most beneficial to them,” an RTI activist revealed. In the wake of this nepotism the new Jagan Mohan Reddy government has requested a CBI inquiry into “the most methodical of land scams of all times”

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