Citing Illegality, Andhra Pradesh Govt Demolished "Praja Vedika" Built By Former CM Chandrababu Naidu
The demolition of Praja Vedika convention hall (or people’s grievance cell) constructed during the tenure of former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu began on Tuesday (June 25, 2019) evening and ended yesterday morning. The demolition began a day after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered to demolish the building citing illegal construction.
TDP leaders called it a political vendetta. TDP state president Kala Venkat Rao speaking to The Indian Express, said, “The government has taken over Praja Vedika without informing Naidu, who is abroad. They should have at least replied to his letter. This reeks of political vendetta.”
Earlier on June 5, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and leader of opposition Chandrababu Naidu had written to Jagan, requesting to allow him to use the building as an extension of the formers’ official residence. However, the request was completely ignored by the YSRCP-led Andhra Pradesh government.
District Collector’s Meeting
During the Collector’s meeting, CM Jagan, referring to information acquired through an RTI said, “Farmers were harassed and false cases were booked against them, so much so that 11 of them committed suicide in the last three years.”
During the meeting, Jagan assured police of complete support and ordered a crackdown on all illegal and criminal activities in the state. “Anything to do with corruption, crack down and send a message. Only then can we bring about best practices. Talk about No. 1 policing, good governance. It requires a strong will,” he said.
He announced that the Praja Vedika will be the first illegal building to be demolished and no more illegal construction should be allowed on the river bank.
Praja Vedika & The Illegality Of It
The 10-cr complex, located on the Krishna riverbed at Undavalli, was constructed by the AP Capital Region Development Authority. It is situated beside the official residence of former Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Praja Vedika was illegally built at 19.5 m above the flood level, as the law mandates that construction along the river bank can only be allowed above 22.6 m.
The CM alleged that former Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister P Narayana ordered it to be built despite objections raised by the executive engineer (Vijayawada).
“There were irregularities in the construction. Short tenders with one week notice were called. Nagarjuna Construction Company was given the contract of Rs 5 crore after disqualifying another company. The construction cost was later revised to Rs 8.9 crore,’’ said an official to The Indian Express.