Jana Sena releases visuals of destruction of Rishikonda hills for CM camp office
Pawan Kalyan alleged that the chief minister, who was supposed to protect the natural resources, was resorting to their plundering for his comfort
The Jana Sena Party, headed by Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan, on Saturday released visuals captured by drone camera to show alleged indiscriminate digging of picturesque Rishikonda hills on the shore of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam for the construction of camp office of chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The visuals, which went viral on social media, showed how large scale constructions are coming up on the Rishikonda hill, a popular beachside tourist spot after digging of the hillock on all sides.
Braving stringent restrictions by police, Pawan Kalyan, along with his party leaders, visited Rishikonda on Friday evening to personally inspect the construction work going on the hill and expressed shock over the destruction of the hillock in violation of environmental rules.
The actor wondered why the chief minister had chosen a picturesque tourist spot on the beach side for the construction of his camp office by digging the hill that was protecting the city from natural calamities.
“Does Jagan need a sea-view to rule the state? Are there not enough government buildings in Visakhapatnam city?” the Jana Sena chief asked.
He alleged that the chief minister, who was supposed to protect the natural resources and follow the rules, was resorting to their plundering for his comfort. “The constructions that are going on at Rishikonda are huge. He is destroying nature. Our attempt is only to tell people how the destruction is taking place here,” Kalyan said.
He added that the officials themselves had told the court that there were some minor violations of environmental norms at Rishikonda. “But when we came here, we noticed that the violations have been going on at a massive scale,” the actor said.
Senior YSR Congress party leader and state education minister Botsa Satyanarayana lashed out at Kalyan for making baseless allegations against Jagan. “The actor, who launched Jana Sena party, after his brother (Chiranjeevi) wound up his party, seems to be under the impression that he would become a big leader by attacking the chief minister,” he said.
The senior minister said Pawan had no understanding of ground realities. “He is only interested in raking up an issue for political gains. Such leaders would be washed away in the wave of Jagan in the coming elections,” Satyanarayana said.
On August 2, a committee of environmental experts constituted by the Andhra Pradesh high court submitted its report to the court, saying that there were clear violations in the excavations and constructions at Rishikonda hills.
Jana Sena Party corporator of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation PVLN Murthy Yadav, who filed the petition in the high court challenging the constructions on Rishikonda hills, said the committee, in its report, said instead of the permitted area of 9.88 acres, constructions were taken up on 17.96 acres.
A division bench, comprising chief justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and justice AV Sesha Sai, said it would direct the Union ministry of environment and forests to take necessary action based on the report. “Since the permission was granted by the Union ministry, it should take the appropriate action,” the bench said.
The bench ordered that the extent of the land for construction should be as directed by the Supreme Court and the orders of the apex court would be included in the final verdict.
Yadav said constructions were being carried out in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules. Though it stated that violations had taken place, the Union ministry did not taken any action, he said.