Alarmed by some villages in the proposed capital region moving resolutions against land pooling for the capital city , the state government has directed the Guntur district administration to ensure that such opposition is not entered into the local body records.
Guntur district collector Kanthilal Dande was directed to ensure that all field-level officials abide by the government’s diktat.Soon after receiving the order, the collector asked district panchayat officer Gouri Shankar to inform all village panchayat secretaries not to enter resolutions against land pooling in the minute books of local bodies.
According to sources, the state government took a serious note of the resolution passed by Nidamarru village panchayat in Mangalagiri mandal opposing land pooling. The village is one of the 17 that have b e e n identified for the first phase of land pooling. Following the passage of the resolution by the governing body,the village secretary of Nidamarru had entered it in the minutes’ book and sent copies to senior officials.
However, the government is now worried that such official resolutions by village panchayats may create legal hurdles in case the farmers approach the court in future. As per rule, the state government has to seek the approval of village panchayat governing boards before going ahead with land acquisitions. In such a scenario, the government fears it may entirely derail the land pooling process.
In fact, the government diktat has already made an impact in Rayapudi. When the village panchayat members moved a similar resolution, the village secretary refused to record it saying he had been directed to do so by his higher-ups. The village leaders brought the issue to the notice of mandal parishad development officer (MPDO) Balu Naik and demanded an explanation.Under pressure from the villagers, the MPDO gave an assurance in writing that he would get a clarification from senior officials.