The opposition parties are gearing up for a big agitation in Visakhapatnam in protest against the leasing out of precious 14 acres of land at Harbour Park to UAE-based LuLu group for development of an International Convention Centre, a huge mall and a five star hotel.
According to the opposition parties, the whole episode smacks of a major scam, as the land worth Rs 700 crore was given on lease to the LuLu group for a period of 33 years at an annual lease of Rs 6.5 crore.
It does mean, the government would get just around Rs 200 crore for the entire lease period, while the promoter would make rich profits out of the project.
What is worse, the government has also taken over 3.5 acres of land belonging to CMR group adjacent to the Harbour Park and in return gave six different plots to the group at various prime locations within the city, totalling 4.5 acres.
Besides, the government has also exempted CMR group from paying stamp duty and registration fee, besides exemption in setbacks and allowing it to construct additional floors without paying anything extra.
Sources said huge money had changed hands in both the deals and a young leader in the Chandrababu Naidu cabinet played the key role in striking the deals.
The YSR Congress, the Congress, and the Left parties decided to stage a ‘maha dharna’ in front of the VUDA office, close to the summit venue, in protest against the “irregularities” in the allotment of valuable land to the LuLu Group.