Andhra Pradesh

TDP leaders confined to homes by police ahead of protest at Rushikonda

A number of senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders including Visakhapatnam (East) MLA Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu and State president of TNSF (Telugu Nadu Student Federation) Pranav Gopal were detained at home by the police ahead of the scheduled protest near the erstwhile Haritha Resort of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) at Rushikonda, in Visakhapatnam on October 27.

The city police set up pickets in front of their houses, as early as 5 a.m. and did not allow the leaders to come out, who were supposed to stage a protest at the site.

However, TDP Visakhapatnam parliamentary constituency president Palla Srinivasa Rao and former Minister Bandaru Satyanaryana were able to reach the site with some supporters, but they were not allowed inside and they staged a protest on the road.

TDP has been demanding clarity on why the State Government had demolished the existing APTDC Haritha Resort, located on the Rushikonda hill.

“Our demand is simple. We want the government to put the DPR in the public domain. There is no clarity, whether a new resort is coming up or the CM’s camp office is coming up at the site,” said MLA Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu.

Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Palla Srinivasa Rao said that a part of the iconic Rushikonda Hill has been demolished and still there is no clarity.

The site falls under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) region and mining is prohibited in such region. But despite that extensive quarrying is taking place creating an environment hazard, he said.

He also alleged that there was no National Green Tribunal (NGT) clearance and environment norms were being violated. “Most importantly, our idea was to stage a peaceful protest and create awareness among the people of city on what is happening at the iconic tourist spot. But our leaders were put on house arrest and we were not allowed to stage a protest. This government does not like any form of dissent, which is against the cardinal democratic principles of our country,” said Mr. Palla Srinivasa Rao.

A large number of police force was seen deployed at Rushikonda on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Minister for Tourism Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao had already clarified that the existing resort was demolished to facilitate the construction of a new resort and the project was approved by the MoEFCC and CRZ clearance was accorded by the Ministry.

As per the project report submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) by the State Government, the project is coming up on a land measuring about 9.8 acres with a built up area of 19,968 sq mts, at a cost of ₹240 crores.

It will come up in two phases with ₹92 crores being spent for site preparation and road connectivity and ₹148 crores for building construction.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:52:03 AM |

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