VISAKHAPATNAM: Continuing its drive against allegedly “illegal” assets of TD leaders, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials, with protection from police personnel, flattened the go-karting park at Mangamaripeta beach, about 20 km from Visakhapatnam in the early hours of Saturday.
The go-carting venue was being run by Kasi Associates represented by Kasi Viswanath, a close aide of former TDP minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao. Demolition of the go-carting facility created on the beach over an acre of land violated norms of the Coastal Regulation Zone, said a senior official, who led the GVMC demolition team. They later put up signboards warning encroachers.
Kasi Viswanath told this correspondent that the land belonged to a private company – Vizag Profiles. He had signed a lease agreement with the company for a period of 10 years in 2010. He had invested Rs 4.5 crore and developed go-karting and other entertainment centres on the beach, which attracted a large number of tourists.
“The lease period was about to end next month and I would have anyway vacated the land voluntarily. There was no need for demolition of these temporary structures. In the process, they damaged all the furniture without giving me any prior notice,” Kasi maintained.
He recalled that the one of its kind entertainment centre drew attention of former chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. “Chandrababu Naidu was so impressed with the park that he asked me to develop a similar one in Amaravati,” Kasi stated.
The close aide of Ganta Srinivasa Rao denied there was any violation of CRZ norms. He maintained that he had permission from VUDA (now VMRDA – Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority), as he had constructed only temporary structures.
A senior GVMC official defended the action saying the corporation had launched a special drive on the beach road to demolish all structures, which are violating the CRZ norms.