Cong demands enquiry into land lease

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Machilipatnam, Oct 22 (UNI) Vice-President of Krishna District Congress Committee and Dalit leader D Y Dass today demanded the Andhra Pradesh Government to constitute a high level committe to enquire into the alleged lease of 7,000 acres of coastal land to Chennai-based Bharat Salt Refineries Limited.

Talking to newspersons at Yekanur, he said the Pallitummala Palem and the Polatitippa fishermen village of Bandar mandal were given on lease at the rate of Rs 50 per acre per annum. This was for too less.

He demanded the government to scrap the deal and distribute the land to unemployed Dalits and fishermen in the areas.

The previous Telugu Desam (TDP) Government, the lands were given to the Company through a GO dated July 28, 2001, with some conditions. But the Company had violated the GO, he alleged.

It was proposed to allot the land to the Company at a lease rate of Rs 200 per acre annuam for a period of 20 years subject to revision after every three years, he pointed out.

However, the state investment committee had decided to fix the lease rental as Rs 50 per acre per annum, he added.

He alleged that the Company was paying a very low rate of Rs 3.5 lakhs per 7,000 acres per annum, and earning crores of rupees through selling salt for industrial purposes instead of making iodised salt.

Mr Dass also criticised the Left and TDP for their silence on this issue and creating hurdles to ''Indiarama Housing Project'' which aims to construct about 60 lakhs houses to the poor.

UNI

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