Reacting to the SEZ controversy in Nellore district of coastal Andhra Pradesh, the Legal Head of the cooperative titan IFFCO R P Singh said IFFCO’s name is being dragged unnecessarily as it is not carrying out any legal battle. It is a fight between the two departments of Andhra govt, Singh clarified.
It bears recall that hearing petitions about allotment of lands to various companies including IFFCO in the name of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nellore district of coastal Andhra, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court said the whole thing looked fishy and that it could consider dealing with it under the prevention of corruption Act, according to media reports.
Passing order on one of the petitions, the court asked the authorities concerned to submit a report on the assigned lands which were allotted to IFFCO in villages of Kodavalur, Dagadarhi and Allur mandals.
“It is a fight between the Endowment department and the Revenue department of the state govt. While the former says lands belong to the temple, the latter insists that it is their land”, explained Singh whose legal acumen is recognized across the board.
“As far as we are concerned we paid the amount of Rs 1.45 crore as its price 20 years ago. The money was kept in a Fixed Deposit which has a value of Rs 8 crore today. It is a special zone and we are ready with many projects but the ongoing dispute has dissuaded us from pursuing our plans”, he underlined.
IFFCO has, meanwhile, put a boundary around the land and there are also a few economic activities going on. A factory which manufactures windmill blades as well as agro processing unit of onion and chilly are already in operation there.
“To tell you the truth, we had almost tied-up with soft drink major Coca-Cola which wanted to set up a bottling plant there but the legal situation forbids us to carry out such a plan of action. We are waiting for the govt to sort it out”, he added.
Readers would recall that a year ago, some petitioners had filed a plea for a CBI enquiry into the land deal. The petitioners’ argument was that 2,776 acres of their lands as well as those of the temple were allotted to IFFCO in 1997 for establishment of a urea plant in the district.
However, there was no progress in the proposed plant. After hearing the case, the court directed the State revenue authorities to maintain status quo on the land allotment. It also directed the IFFCO and others concerned not to provide rights to others on the lands.