Vijayawada: The Guntur district administration has so far acquired nearly 2,500-3,000 acres from farmers for developing the new state capital around Vijayawada-Guntur stretch, Andhra Pradesh Information and Public Relations Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy said on Saturday.
"Farmers from Thullru and nearby villages are voluntarily
handing over their lands, in return they will receive a portion of their land in near future. So far, around 3,000 acres has been acquired," Reddy told mediapersons here today.
Refuting the claim, the opposition leaders alleged that officials are indulging in coercive methods for acquiring land from farmers.
Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary K Shivaji told PTI that farmers are not willing to relinquish their valuable land but the government is using force against those who are reluctant to hand over their land.
He said though municipal administration minister Dr P Narayana personally campaigned in the villages in the past fortnight, they failed to acquire not more than 2,000 acres.
Shivaji said yesterday some farmers also met Union minister of state for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman who was here to attend the tour of BJP president Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, Reddy has also said the government has decided to celebrate festival Pongal as 'state festival' and celebrations would be kicked off by Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu at Tirupati on January 13.
A budget of Rs 13.2 crore has been sanctioned for the purpose, he added.