Revenue and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials seized lands which were reportedly under the illegal possession of Gajuwaka former MLA and the TDP’s Visakhapatnam Parliamentary constituency president Palla Srinivasa Rao and his family members on Sunday.
The officials reached the spot in the early hours of Sunday along with the support of the police. Complaints were received that some of the lands were occupied by Palla Srinivasa Rao’s brother Shankara Rao. According to officials, the lands were given for lease to small induastries and lakhs of rupees were collected annually as rent. During the survey, Revenue Divisional Officer P Kishore and Gajuwaka tahsildar MV Lokeswara Rao identified that about 56.07 acres of land was encroached by the Palla’s family members. Of them, 49.5 acres of land was seized and placed warning boards along the site. The officials demolished some of the structures and fence at Tunglam, Golla Jaggarajupeta and Kurmannapalem areas. A few small scale industries were operated in these sites.
“Land grabbing began during the tenure of Chandrababu Naidu government,’’ said the minister for tourism, Muttamsetti (Avanti) Srinivasa Rao. Addressing a press conference after the land seizure, the minister said the drive to take back government was no vengeance against the opposition leaders. He said the seized lands would be used for housing for poorer sections. He asserted that none would be spared if they indulged in land grabbing. “If ruling party leaders indulged in grabbing, the victims can go straight to the Commissioner of Police and launch a formal complaint,’’ he urged the public.
Palla Srinivasa Rao said his private land was not touched and the revenue officials just demolished a compound wall which divided his land and a pond. “Not an inch of my land was touched, and I did not encroach any government land located next to my land,” he told.
Among the lands were seized, lands belonging to the government, Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, Urban land Ceiling and Steel Plant were also included, according to revenue officials.