ADILABAD: Some land owners with political patronage have been milking the Rythu Bandhu Scheme, taking the Rs 4,000 per acre per season assistance for barren land which they had purchased at low prices from farmers. These lands lie without any cultivation.
Sources said one landlord with political backing had got the government assistance for his 2,000-acre benami land parcel in Adilabad district. Similar instances were reported in Mancherial and Kumarambheem Asifabad districts.
Also, the landlords who enjoy political patronage got hundreds of crores as loans from the banks by mortgaging these ‘valuable lands’ after getting their prices hiked in the books.
The lands that lie fallow are located in Tamsi, Talamadugu, Bela, Adilabad and Jainad mandals in the Adilabad district.
Most of these barren lands were purchased a year ago for Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre.
Sources said the lands were registered on benami names with the help of the land registration staff.
In another instance, the district revenue and agriculture officials couldn’t do anything even though they knew that barren land was recently purchased by a contractor who happens to be a relative of a minister of the old Adilabad district.
The same contractor is doing irrigation project works in Adilabad district and had earlier got Godavari Pushakaralu contracts worth hundreds of crores.
Before the scheme was announced, locals could not understand why such large extents of barren land was being purchased.
A farmer of Tamsi mandal who sold his 10-acre barren land to the landlord last year said he never thought of the land would earn the huge investment offered by the Rythu Bandhu Scheme.