The TDO government under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu from 2014 to 2019 was notorious for giving out lands to the corporate cronies. No doubt the kickback they enjoyed was more important than the development of the state. Land scams became the new nor under Naidu leadership, which later led to the question – who is 420 in AP?
There are many instances of land scams that happened in the state and this time it was land scam of worth Rs.350 crores. Precious lands were given to the corporate cronies just like that without following the rules. In fact, the Naidu govt was infamous for flouting the rules of tender distribution. All this was done to meet the needs of the companies or people that TDP govt favored.
Here is another true story of land scam that involves some of the big names and the Swiss Challenge method that no one understood how it worked.
Giving Away of the Valuable Lands
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation(APSRTC) had 1,960 acres of land in 13 districts of AP at that time. As per the records, the value of the land at that time was worth 15,000 crores. But the market value of the lands were more than Rs 50,000 crores.
The Chandrababu Naidu govt had decided to give away the RTC lands to its leaders and theirbenamis. The RTC had already given away 33 acres land to different entities for 49 years leaseunder the BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) model. The remaining of the land too were ready to be distributed among the industrialists and IT companies.
Bending the Rules to Buy and Sell the Lands
The lands were given away using the Swiss Challenge method. As per the Wikipedia “A Swiss challenge is a form of public procurement operated in some jurisdictions, which requires a public authority which has received an unsolicited bid for a public project, or for services to be provided to government, to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or better it”
The RTC did the exact thing by considering the turnover of the company to award the land. As per the rules, the engineering experts and officials take into account the required experience in construction, and the actual value of the projects undertaken by the said company before it is awarded the contract. No such thing happened here and the RTC simply gave away the land on the basis of turn over alone.
The govt awarded the contract to the company that had the turnover of Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 crores. If the company is a sole contender and they have the required turnover, they would get the land.
How the Gannavaram Lands Were Gifted to HCL
The Gannavaram lands were handed over to HCL on the pretext that the land was not being utilized. This was far from the truth. In fact, during the NTR rule in the state, the then CM had allocated 28 acresof land for the APSRTC Training Centre in Survey No.20/1of Gannavaram and issued GO No.117. Then the APSRTC constructed buildings on this land. The TDP govt claims that it was not being utilized was completely false. But when had the govt followed the rules or respected laws.Eventually, Rs. 250 crores worth primeland was given away to HCL.
These are some of the examples that shows how corrupt the TDP government under Chandrababu Naidu was. Due to the massive corruption in the state, people started asking who is 420 in AP?
TDP Leaders Grabbed Lands in Visakhapatnam
TDP leaders and ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Narayana had their eyes set on the prime lands in Visakhapatnam. The land here was worth hundreds or crores and it was owned by the APSRTC. The most interesting thing is that the ministers in questions are relatives too. They had planned to use the land to build a shopping multiplex in the areas like Maddipalem and Narsipatnam.
On the orders of the ministerGanta Srinivasa Rao, the RTC officials were quick to send the report on the land owned bythe corporation in Maddipalem and Narsipatnam.The land owned by RTC was 8.7 acres of land in Maddipalem of the Visakhapatnam district. The estimated price of each yard was Rs 1 lakh. In total, the land was worth Rs. 384 crores. But the price quoted was Rs. 70 crores, which was one under the pressure of the minister. Likewise, the 2 acres of lands that APSRTC owned in Narsipatnam worth Rs 20 crores was quoted at Rs. 5 crores only. All this was done to accommodate the needs of the ministers. The precious lands were given away just like that by the TDP government.
In another instance, the then AP Speaker KodelaSivaprasad Rao’s son KodelaSivarama Krishna had grabbed lands worth Rs. 20 crores owned by RTC in Narsaraopeta. He got the land through his proxies and he had also blocked other tenders so that his proxy buyer would be the only bidder for the land. The sole bidder gets the lands.
Land grabbing was so common during the Naidu government that it is not easy to keep record of all the scams. This time, the TDP government lowered the prices of the valuable lands so that ministers and corporate cronies could benefit from them. The answer to the question who is 420 in AP is hidden in the fact that Chandrababu Naidu allowed scams and corruptions to happen in the state.
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