VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday cancelled the concession agreement with Navayuga to build the proposed Machilipatnam port.
The government had earlier removed Navayuga from the Polavaram project.
The government asked the Krishna district administration to take over about 400 acres of land that was handed over to Navayuga on lease for the port. The infrastructure and investment department hinted at claiming compensation from the company for breach of agreement and delaying the very start of the project.
Interestingly, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. who till now scrapped some of the decisions of his predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu, reversed a decision taken by his late father Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy during whose tenure Navayuga had been chosen.
“The intent of the developer is very clear not to construct the port but to scuttle the development of other ports in the vicinity of Krishnapatnam. The company has been given several chances by the successive governments to achieve financial closure and start the works. But, there is no progress,” a highly placed source in the government pointed out.
The port was initially allotted to Maytas Infra, the infra wing of IT tycoon S. Ramalinga Raju, in 2008. Subsequently, the YSR administration decided to bring in Navayuga in place of Maytas instead of going in for fresh round of tenders. The revised concession agreement came into effect in June 2010.
Instead of taking up the port works, the developer sought to take cover under the government’s failure to acquire and hand over 5,000 acres to the developer at one go. Sources said in March 2017 the government pooled about 3,000 acres and asked the developer to take possession and go for financial closure.
The company asked the government to hand over the entire 5,000 acres along with development of external infrastructure. The government accused Navayuga of failing to take up the project on its own and preventing the government from exploring other means.
It remains to be seen if the Telugu Desam, which has alleged that this project will be most likely handed over to the Telangana state government, will see a vindication in their stance and further push its agitation on this issue....