The zilla parishad meeting, stated to be the penultimate one, witnessed noisy scenes over Machilipatnam Port issue, here on Saturday.
The ZP Chairman K. Nageswara Rao and TDP leaders entered into a heated argument when the former asked the members to support a resolution urging the Centre to set up the port cum shipping yard at Machilipatnam. A wordy duel ensued between the Chairman and Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Nageswara Rao as both cast aspersions on each other.
The TDP MLAs rushed to the podium and demanded an apology from the ZP Chairman, who maintained that the Opposition members were making issue out of nothing. The issue settled down when Mr. Nageswara Rao said he had no intentions to insult any person who was agitating for the port. The trouble broke out when Mr. Nageswara Rao said the State government was poised to allot hundreds of acres to a private company, whereas the Central government's requirement does not exceed 2,000 acres, which was readily available. Hence, the leaders from the district, should strive to grab that project as both shipping yard and port would be realised at one shot in view of the tardy progress of Machilipatnam Port, he felt. The TDP leaders, however, alleged that the ZP Chairman was mooting the proposal with a vested business interests. “You are bringing personal issues here,” alleged Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana Rao. Retorting Mr. Nageswara Rao said, “The agitations in favour of the port here were backed by the Navayuga, who was awarded the contract”.
It prompted the TDP leaders to spring on to their feet and raise objections. Mr. Narayana Rao, said “The people are agitating for the port even before the contract was awarded to Navayuga. You are insulting the people's aspirations and agitations.”
Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal suggested that the government should negotiate with the Navayuga to take up the works in available 2,000 acre. The Central government could be approached if it expressed inability to execute the works in available land, he said.
The meeting, finally, resolved to urge the government to speed up the port works, and also consider Machilipatnam for shipping yard-cum-port.