Andhra Pradesh

Government is not vindictive: Minister

Reiterating that the government is not vindictive, Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao has accused the TDP for raising a hue and cry unnecessarily over the “reclaiming of government land” from GITAM deemed to be University.

Addressing the media here on Saturday, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said the university was not a charitable organisation.

“It charges exorbitant fee from the students and does not follow the rule of reservation. The government has reclaimed only the encroached extent as per the guidelines,” the Minister said.

Wondering why the land was not regularised during the TDP term, the Minister claimed that many TDP leaders too had objected to the institution’s “illegal land encroachments.”

Accusing the TDP leaders of creating hurdles in the path of development, the Minister said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was trying to strengthen government institutions unlike former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu who had worked for the benefit of private organisations.

Earlier, at a separate press conference, YSRCP Anakapalle MLA Gudivada Amarnath alleged that the TDP was batting for those who had encroached nearly 40 acres of government land worth ₹800 crore in the city.

Refuting the university’s claim that it was not issued prior notice, Mr. Amarnath said that five months ago, surveyors of the Revenue Department had conducted a survey and informed the university management that 40 acres of government land fell within the campus compound and that it would be reclaimed.

In the year 2014, when Mr. Naidu was the Chief Minister, the university had applied for alienation of the land, he said.

“How can the government consider if someone first encroaches land worth crores of rupees and then applies for regularisation?” he questioned.

‘SIT report soon’

Alleging that huge amounts of money had been swindled and vast extents of land encroached during the TDP term, the MLA said, “The YSRCP, then in the Opposition, had questioned the TDP over the encroachments in Vizag. Had we not mounted pressure, the Dasapalla Hills area in the city would have turned into a concrete jungle by now.”

Under pressure from the YSRCP, the TDP government was forced to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the land scam. However, it did not make the SIT report public. The YSRCP, after coming to power, had constituted another SIT. Its report will be out very soon,” he added.

“Anybody involved in grabbing government land will face similar consequences,” the MLA warned.

Pendurthi MLA Adeep Raj said, though GITAM was involved in several irregularities, the TDP government had not taken any action, considering the family relationship between members of the university management, Mr. Naidu and TDP leader N. Balakrishna.

Accusing the TDP of politicising the issue, he said the government was not targeting the opposition leaders.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 5:52:16 AM |

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