Quite interestingly, some of the farmers in the capital villages, have started cultivation in the lands that have been kept idle for the past three years. The lands were taken by the State government for the capital city – some land were given voluntarily while some were acquired in the name of land pooling. These farmers from Undavalli and Penumaka, besides other villages, have refused to give their lands to the capital, but were taken using force. It was on this issue, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy had promise to give them back some two years ago. Though the YSR Congress had not mentioned anything about the capital in the election manifesto, it is believed that Jaganmohan Reddy would stand by his word.
On assuming charge as chief minister, Jaganmohan Reddy, had stopped the Amaravati works. The woks which have not completed at least 25 per cent were stopped, while the rest were continuing. Jaganmohan Reddy had not made any statement on the capital city. It was only Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, who had said that this government is not dreaming of constructing a world class capital city, but it would be one of the best cities in the country.
He also hinted at the size of the capital and the budget stating that it would suit to the pocket and would not be a burden on the exchequer. The slowdown of the works and the statement of the minister seems to have given enough indications for the farmers on getting back their lands and it is for that reason some of them have started cultivation.
If the Jaganmohan Reddy government wants to return some of the lands to the farmers, there are two major challenges. The first challenge is that the government had already paid compensation to the farmers and it has to be collected back. The second challenge is that the lands have lost their boundaries and it would be highly impossible for the government to rearrange them. About 5000 revenue officials have worked here for the past three years and have collected these lands for the government. If they are to be returned, the same number of revenue officials would have to come back and undo what they have done. These two are big challenges for the government if it wants to return the lands to the farmers as promised.