Visakhapatnam: Allocation of prime urban land to Varun Hospitality to build an extension of its existing hotel near RK Beach at a throwaway price has given rise to several allegations.
Terming the allocation illegal, Vizag-based activist and former bureaucrat E.A.S. Sarma sought an inquiry by the ACB into the matter.
“The land falls within and around a watercourse that comes under the prohibited category. Moreover, any construction that obstructs the flow of water into the sea can cause flooding and loss of life. This is not the first time the company was given such concessions. In the past, the same company was permitted to construct an illegal building,” Mr Sarma said.
The former IAS officer has written to the state Chief Secretary, special chief secretary (revenue) and Chief Commissioner of Land Administration. Neither the state revenue department nor the CCLA has taken any action so far.
“Varun Group has been illegally drawing water from bore wells at one of its buildings in which a hotel is located, within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) limit. The High Court had prohibited use of such bore wells in a judgement. GVMC is complicit in allowing the company to illegally drawing water from the bore wells,” he said.
Three months before the recent elections, the previous government has alienated land from Oota Gedda to an extent of 1,236 sq yd in Waltair Ward of Maharanipeta mandal for construction of a hotel and office space at Rs 47,000 per sq yd.
As per the real estate experts, market cost of the land in that area is about Rs 2 lakh per sq yd. They were unable to find vacant lands in the locality. “While countries like UAE are creating beautiful places to improve tourism, our governments are foolishly giving away precious land to private players,” said a realtor on condition of anonymity.
Vizag has several beaches. Instead of developing other beaches, all the developments were confined to RK Beach alone. In such a congested place, the previous government has allocated 13.83 acres of land to UAE-based LuLu Group for the construction of International Convention Centre at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
Residents, environmentalists and few political parties have opposed the commercial project. CPM leaders have earlier urged the new government to stall the project. In a letter to the Chief Minister, they have asked to utilise the same land for a public project....