The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday suspended the powers of local panchayats relating to the control on the development and use of land and buildings in Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali- Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTM UDA) limits.
The decision was taken to safeguard the requirements of the proposed new capital city, according to the orders issued by the government. These powers of the gram panchayats were restored back to the VGTM UDA by the government.
Under section 36 (1) of the AP Urban Areas (Development) Act 1975, the local panchayats are authorised to give permission for construction of buildings (G+2) and small shops, levy penalties against illegal constructions and also levy and get the development charges, among other things. But only the UDA is authorised to issue permission for the layouts and also for the construction of buildings beyond the G+2 level.
Of the about 217 gram panchayats – 50 from Guntur district and 67 from Krishna district falling under the VGTM authority – only 68 gram panchayats have the powers under section 36 (1) of the said Act, according to the data available on the VGTM UDA website.
The move comes close on the heals of the instructions reportedly given to the UDA last week to stop issuing fresh permissions to the residential and other layouts in its limits.
Following its decision to build the new capital city around Vijayawada, preferably under the VGTM region spread across around 5,000 square km area, the government had recently said that it would acquire land for infrastructure and buildings through a land pooling system involving the farmers of this area.
The new move completely stops the constructions and the development of layouts in places other than the already-granted permission by the authority even as several businessmen and real estate developers are said to have bought lands to develop housing plots and residential projects to take advantage of the capital city plans.