‘Cancellation of land allotted to LuLu Group on expected lines’

More than 13 acres was allotted to LuLu Group in Visakhapatnam by the TDP government.  

The allotment of 13.83 acres on Beach Road to Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group was mired in controversy ever since the project was conceived during the TDP government.

Now, the decision of the State Cabinet to cancel the land allotted for development of an international convention centre, five star hotel and multiplex has not come as a surprise for many as the YSRCP and the Left parties had strongly criticised the allotment, notwithstanding the fact that only one bid was received during the tendering process.

The LuLu Group, which launched the civil work just before the 2019 elections after Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu laid the stone in February, 2018, had signed an agreement to build an integrated project comprising 10,000 capacity convention centre, 20 lakh sft shopping mall and a luxury hotel by investing ₹2,200 crore.

Then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also visited Kochi to see the LuLu Mall there. On the insistence of the LuLu Group, 3.4 acres belonging to CMR’s function hall was acquired to facilitate the project. The land was swapped by giving six valuable plots in Seethammadhara, MVP Colony and other posh areas by waiving off registration charges.

‘CRZ norms violated’

“I welcome the Cabinet decision. The government should order a vigilance probe into the Lulu-CMR land deal and take action against those responsible for violating the CRZ norms and doling out valuable land to private parties at a low price,” former bureaucrat E.A.S. Sarma told The Hindu.

“The CMR Group has been allotted 2.5 times of the land taken over by the government for the Lulu project. For this, TDP government had invoked the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, exempted the CMR Group from VUDA (now VMRDA) Master Plan restrictions, allowed building rule deviations and granted exemption from registration charges,” said Mr. Sarma.

He added that as the land allotted to the LuLu Group had been revoked, there was no rationale to finalise the land exchange in favour of the CMR Group. “In my view, the government should also revoke the land allotted to the CMR Group,” he added.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:53:12 AM |

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