Giving details of the Radiant project at Rushikonda to the AP Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee headed by R. Prakash Reddy, VUDA Vice-Chairman Kona Sasidhar said, on developing 50 acres of site, the developer said he would pay 7.5 per cent of government rate or Rs.13 crore in 2003. Subsequently, when rates had gone up, the government had cancelled the agreement. But the firm went to court with a revised DPR and offered Rs.24 crore in 2009.
However, after several rounds of negotiations, VUDA wanted at least 30 to 35 per cent of the Rs.200 crore land value to be paid. Union Minister for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari wrote three wrong letters on the issue to the government.
Mr. Sasidhar said, alternatively, VUDA offered to pay up the profit of Rs.27 crore shown by the company and levelling charges to get back the land. VUDA’s recommendation for cancellation was pending with the government.
Answering questions of the members, the Vice-Chairman said VUDA had contributed Rs.1,200 crore to the government for budgetary support by auctioning land given by the Revenue Department. It had parted with Rs.85 crore of its money to meet the target. On why VUDA should auction land at all, he said it involved a larger question as urban development authorities did not receive any support from the government.
Tourism officials faced the wrath of district Collector Lav Agarwal and members for saying that land to a company was allotted by the Revenue Department directly to the Tourism for developing a spa behind Thotlakonda, but the Greyhounds unit located there raised an objection.
The VUDA Vice-Chairman also expressed surprise for not being informed though no land transfer took place.
However, Mr. Prakash Reddy said if things came up to the point of handing over land, nothing much could be done at that stage.
For St. Luke’s Nursing School at Endada, those who got the land said they had applied in 2004 and were allotted 7.3 acres at Rs.25 lakh an acre in 2009. Mr. Prakash Reddy pointed out that the CAG had objected to the allotment against the market rate of Rs.1.25 crore.