Hyd HC Stops Constructions on Krishna Riverbed, Andhra CM on List

Andhra Pradesh CM got a building built against the River Conservancy Act as his official residence.

2 min read
One of the 32 guest houses built on the river-bed, was occupied by the CM of the state.

The Hyderabad High Court issued notices on Tuesday to the owners of several high-profile constructions, including Lingamaneni Estate, where Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is residing, in Undavalli village of Guntur district.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, who alleged that several unauthorised structures had been coming up along the Krishna riverbed.

The Deccan Chronicle quoted the petitioner's plea, claiming that authorities were afraid of evicting the encroachers as one of the 32 guest houses built on the river-bed was occupied by the chief minister of the state.

The land and villa reportedly belongs to Lingamaneni Ramesh, chief of Air Costa, and Naidu is using it as his camp office-cum-residence.

The court issued the notices, and postponed the matter.

The river conservator, principal secretary, irrigation department, AE Irrigation, Vijayawada circle, district Collectors of Guntur and Krishna, Tehsildar Tadepally, Engineer-in–chief Irrigation, have to answer to the court by 10 October, The Hindu reported.

In July this year, former Andhra Pradesh Information Commissioner P Vijaya Babu slammed the state government for alleged encroachments on the banks of the river Krishna.

Babu, who is also the founder of Better Andhra Pradesh (BAP), accused government officials of being aware of these encroachments, and asked them to respect the law and verdicts of the courts.

The CM himself got a building built against the River Conservancy Act as his official residence. The Act specifies that no structure should be built within 500 metres of the river course. On the river bank in Krishna district, there are 18 buildings and on the side of Guntur district there are 48 buildings. Water Resources Minister D Umamaheswara Rao who visited the illegal structures promised action and issued notices to all the owners in 2015 but there was no follow up.

Referring to recent guidelines issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Babu said that Naidu violated the law.

Earlier this month, social activist Bolisetty Satyanarayana urged Naidu to change his house expansion plan on the Krishna river bank and move it away from the river bund.

(This article was originally published in The News Minute.)

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