VISAKHAPATNAM: Dealing another blow to the Telugu Desam cadre, officials of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) seized Fusion Foods located at Siripuram here Sunday morning. Fusion Foods is promoted by T. Harshavardhan Prasad, a close friend of Visakhapatnam West legislator P.V.G.R. Naidu. The incident comes 24 hours after the demolition of structures in 124 acres allegedly encroached by TD leaders.
Harshavardhan shot to limelight when an employee of his restaurant, J. Srinivas Rao attacked Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Visakhapatnam international airport with a knife. The NIA questioned Harshavardhan and the airport authorities later closed his restaurant.
Harshavardhan obtained a lease of the premises owned by VMRDA (formerly VUDA) for 10 years in 2004. After expiry of the lease in 2014, he applied for a 10-year extension. When the VUDA refused to oblige, Harshavardhan went to the High Court and got directions to the state government. The VUDA issued extension orders till 2024.
But the VMRDA in its notice dated November 14 stated that the lease violated rules which say that lease period could be given for only three years and not beyond unless the state government specifically permits it.
The notice cited that there was no government permission for a nine-year lease and rent was far below the specified norms. Citing these reasons, the commissioner of VMRDA asked the estate officer to take over the premises.
“I took an open land for lease and spent over Rs 5 crore for construction of the premises. Without giving any notice and time, they descended in the early hours and removed all the furniture,’’ Harshavardhan said and added that he was basically a sports person and associated with P.V.G.R. Naidu. He was never associated with TD activities though a section of people were claiming it, he said.
Senior TD leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said it was political vendetta. “The YSRC government is destroying business houses owned or promoted by TD sympathisers,’’ Murthy said....