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Activists caution the World Bank against Chandrababu Naidu's ambitious Amaravati project
Several prominent social activists have cautioned the World Bank against funding Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's ambitious proposal for a world-class capital city Amaravati, mobilising resources from national and international financial institutions.

In a letter to the Executive Director of the World Bank they referred to several irregularities surrounding the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project, for which Chandrababu Naidu is seeking World Bank's liberal financial assistance.

Around 45 activists including Medha Patkar, former power secretary Dr EAS Sarma and Goldman Prize awardee Prafulla Samanthra referred to a couple of recent developments, which took place after the Inspection Panel's visit to India in mid-September this year, following the registration of the complaint filed by farmers from Andhra Pradesh alleging harm to their livelihoods, environment, and food security, along with lack of consultation and participation of affected people.

In their letter, they noted that the Panel, in its report, had recommended the need to investigate into the grievances of the complainants against forced land pooling, coercion and intimidation, lack of sufficient public consultations, grave threat to food security and loss of fertile floodplains to establish Amaravati.

They strongly expressed that the suggestions of the Panel's report for a full investigation into the violations of the Bank's operating policies must be followed by the Board, and that the Board should not undermine the mandate of its own accountability mechanism. Accusing the Bank's funding unconstitutional as it hasn't secured the necessary approval from the District Planning Committee as mandated under Article 243ZD of the Constitution of India, they mentioned the continuous intimidation and harassment of the farmers who are opposed to the project. They further expressed their astonishment of the Bank's silence on Chandrababu Naidu's instruction to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to firmly deal with the people who filed complaints with the World Bank.

They observed that the lack of an adequate and comprehensive Resettlement Policy Plan and the incompetent addressing of the Bank against the uprooting of impoverished Dalit families from Lanka Lands in Krishna River islands, and not having guaranteed return will lead directly to the creation of a wide marginalised community of informal sector on the outskirts of the capital city with no regard to their dignity, efforts and labour.

Stating that the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a co-financier of the project, accountable for the already existing and impending crucial consequences of this mammoth capital city project, they have demanded that the concerns of the project affected communities be considered; faulty 'voluntary' Land Pooling Scheme be withdrawn; Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act (APRCDA Act 2014) be abolished.

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