- Rented house where Chandrababu Naidu staying may be demolished
- Andhra infrastructure authority says building near Krishna river illegal
- Notice served to owner of building; other structures nearby demolished
Demolition crews have started taking apart one by one "illegal" houses built along the ecologically fragile Krishna river in Andhra Pradesh's Amaravati. One of the houses is where former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has been staying since 2016 after he moved from Hyderabad. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's government had served notice to the owners of the buildings recently.
Lingamaneni Ramesh, who owns the house taken on rent by the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief, was served a final notice by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) on September 19, asking him to raze the "unauthorised construction" within seven days.
Mr Ramesh received the first notice on June 27, after which he sent a reply to the infrastructure body, but the APCRDA did not find it "satisfactory". The notice says the property on six acres, with a ground floor having reinforced cement concrete structures, a swimming pool, helipad, first-floor residence and 10 temporary sheds were all within 100 metres of the river and built without permission.
The ruling YSR Congress Party has been claiming for long that the house where Mr Naidu lived when he was chief minister, on the banks of the Krishna river, was illegally built.
On Monday, APCRDA officials demolished another illegal building owned by TDP leader Koteswara Rao near Mr Naidu's home at Undavalli village, 32 km from Amravati. The APCRDA said a concrete ramp and the building were built on the riverbed in violation of rules.
At least 24 buildings are suspected to have been built illegally along the river, according to the APCRDA. The infrastructure body sent "confirmation orders" to demolish five buildings after it did not find the explanation by their owners convincing enough. The other "explanations" are being examined, the APCRDA said.
In June, a Rs 8 crore conference hall, Praja Vedike, built by the former chief minister was razed by the ruling YSR Congress Party government that came to power with a massive mandate this year. Jaganmohan Reddy's party also won 22 of the 25 seats to decimate the TDP in the national election held in April and May.
Mr Naidu had written to the new Chief Minister on June 4 to allow him to retain the hall so that he could work from there as the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly. He had hit out at Mr Reddy, saying it was "foolish" to destroy government property. "Many statues don't have permission (and) stand on unauthorised land," Mr Naidu said, asking if Mr Reddy was planning to pull down statues of his father and former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Mr Reddy in his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 30 had discussed issues regarding special category status for Andhra Pradesh, a demand over which Mr Naidu broke away from the National Democratic Alliance.
Special status will mean a large infusion of central funds to help with the state government's plans to develop its new capital Amravati. This has been a long-standing demand of Andhra Pradesh government since Telangana was carved out of it in 2014.