The district unit of CPI(M) has sought a CBI probe into the circumstances leading to government orders for surrender of 28.56 acres to the “original land-losers” almost 21 years after they were acquired for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and the management's failure to take action against systematic bids to encroach valuable lands.

Vide GO Ms. No. 683 dated June 27 issued by the Revenue (land acquisition) Department, it was stated that VSP authorities had revised their alignment and requested the government to re-convey the lands to the original owners. The said lands that belonged to D. Venkatapathi Rao are located in Aganampudi and Pedagantyada areas.

They were acquired for construction of rehabilitation colony for the displaced persons. The VSP, as well as the government agencies, including VUDA and Conservator of Forests, had stated that the land was located in low-lying area and totally unfit to take up any construction/afforestation.

Stating that it was a big scam and Mr. Venkatapathi Raju, as claimed in the GO, was a realtor and not a farmer as cited in the GO, party district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao said on Wednesday that the land in question was worth crores of rupees. He said Mr. Raju was very close to a prominent Congress leader.

Mr. Rao, honorary president of VSP's recognised union, told reporters that Mr. Raju and nine other so-called original land owners who would get 28.56 acres were not genuine land-losers.

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