Prathyusha Associates Shipping Private Limited awarded the project without following established procedures, says M.V.S. Sarma
Progressive Democratic Front Floor leader in the Legislative Council M.V.S. Sarma and office-bearers of Poura Grandhalayala Seva Samithi have sought cancellation of lease-cum-development agreement signed with Prathyusha Associates Shipping Private Limited for constructing a multi-storeyed complex at the site belonging to the Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Sarma, samithi president B.L. Narayana, secretary K. Trimurtulu, and treasurer P. Malleswara Rao said on Sunday that Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao was associated with the firm and had used his good offices at that time as an MLA to get the deal for a throwaway lease rental. Mr. Sarma said only one bid was received as the government did not go for wide publicity. It was a “stage-managed” deal and established procedures were not followed just to benefit Mr. Srinivasa Rao, he said, adding the market value of the land at the time of signing the agreement was shown at just 10 per cent of the actual value.
The government vide GO Ms. No. 121 Education (PE-Prog..II) Department, dated October 26, 2009, awarded the project to Pratyusha for development of a site near Jagadamba junction in an area of 4,536 square yards under Public Private Partnership Mode. As per the Clause 7 (ii) of Section-II of the agreement, the construction should have been completed within 24 months, namely, February 15, 2012.
The MLC said that as per the agreement, in the event of delay beyond the scheduled completed date, the lessee shall pay damages for delay at the rate of Rs.5 lakh per month until such construction was completed.
Mr. Sarma said the Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha held a general body meeting on April 24, 2013, and adopted a resolution to cancel the agreement.
In another resolution, it said they would construct the building with own funds with all modern amenities to the readers within a span of one year.
Meanwhile, in an open letter to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Mr. Sarma said even the Director of Public Libraries sought government permission to cancel the deal on July 15 due to failure of the lessee to complete the work on time and sought his intervention to scrap the deal in larger public interest.