Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy on Tuesday announced the surrender of 618 acres of surplus lands under his possession to the government.
Speaking to newsmen in the Assembly premises, Dr Reddy said that he has already surrendered the surplus land, which were held by his family in excess of the holdings permitted under the AP Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973.
He said that he had written to district collector of his home district, Kadapa, expressing his willingness to surrender the excess lands, worth crores of rupees. The district revenue authorities have taken possession of the surrendered lands, he added.
Dr Reddy, his wife and his two major children possessed a total of 758 acres at Idupayalapalli estate in Vempally in their own names, apart from a private company.
However, when he came to know that under the Land Reforms Act, he and his family were entitled not to hold this extent of land, he decided to surrender the excess lands, covering an extent of 618 acres.
The lands are highly fertile and cost atleast Rs 20 lakh per acre. The estate has orchards, teak plantations and other crops.
The AP Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973, came into force from January 1, 1975. The ceiling limit prescribed under the Act ranges from 10 acres to 54 acres per family, depending upon the class and category of land.
Taking potshots at media baron Ramoji Rao for allegedly possessing excess lands in violation of the Land Reforms Act 1973, Dr Reddy said that, emulating his example, others who possessed excess lands should follow suit and surrender their surplus lands to the government.
The government claims that Ramoji Rao and his family possess lands at Ramoji Film City as well as other locations in and around the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabad.
By Syed Amin Jafri