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Naidu’s Praja Vedika to be pulled down, his house also on Jagan Reddy’s list

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday declared that all the buildings that came up on the banks of Krishna river were illegal and unauthorised constructions and would be demolished one after the other from Wednesday.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2019 17:31 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh,Jagan Mohan Reddy,N Chandrababu naidu
The Telugu Desam Party government of N Chandrababu Naidu Praja Vedika had used the building for both official and party activities.(HT PHOTO)

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s palatial riverside house at Vundvalli in Amravati could soon be demolished for flouting environmental laws.

Chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday declared that all the buildings that came up on the banks of Krishna river were illegal and unauthorised constructions. He said these would be demolished one after the other starting Wednesday.

Also on the demolition list is Praja Vedika, a sprawling conference hall next to Naidu’s residence which was being used for both the government and party activities

Addressing the Collectors’ Conference at Praja Vedika, Reddy declared that the hall itself was an illegal construction.

“We have assembled in this building which is an unauthorised construction by the previous government without following rules and laws which clearly state that no construction should be allowed in the river water regulatory zone,” Reddy said as he shared a report submitted by the AP Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) on the unauthorised constructions that came up on the Krishna river front.

The chief minister said the authorities had also pointed out how the cost of construction of Praja Vedika was escalated from Rs 5 crore to Rs 8 crore. “As such, the construction of building involved huge corruption. What can we say, if a person who ruled the state for five years indulges in corruption and violates law?” he asked.

He said he had decided to hold the collectors’ conference in Praja Vedika despite knowing that it was an illegal construction only to disclose the facts. “On Tuesday, I will hold another meeting with IPS officers in this same conference hall. It will be the last meeting here. From Wednesday, the demolition of Praja Vedika will begin,” he announced.

Without specifically naming Naidu’s residence, Jagan said the government would demolish all the illegal constructions on the banks of Krishna river. “Starting with Praja Vedika on Wednesday, all the illegal buildings will be razed,” he said.

On Saturday, the Andhra Pradesh government had taken possession of Praja Vedika.

The TDP president has been staying in his present residence leased from Lingamaneni Ramesh, an infrastructure giant, in 2015.

In 2017, the TDP government constructed Praja Vedika adjacent to his house to enable Naidu to meet people and take representations from them, besides addressing official meetings.

YSRC lawmaker from Mangalagiri Alla Ramakrishna Reddy filed a public interest petition in the high court stating that Naidu’s house and many others in the area were illegal constructions as they came up on the river banks. The case is still pending in the court.

The alleged illegal constructions in the area include guest houses belonging to NRIs and other prominent people like former BJP MP Gokaraju Ganga Raju, besides a massive nature cure hospital and an orphanage.

The TDP reacted strongly to Reddy’s announcement of the demolition drive at Vundavalli.

“Praja Vedika was built for the sake of people and not for any individual’s benefit. Similarly, several buildings came up on the banks of Krishna river over many years. Will Jagan Reddy demolish all of them? There are no instances of flooding of the area in the last 50 years,” senior TDP leader and MLA Gorantla Buchaiah Chowdary said.

First Published: Jun 24, 2019 17:06 IST