Andhra Pradesh govt starts dismantling ‘Praja Vedika’

Amaravati:  The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority started dismantling the government building ‘Praja Vedika’ on the Krishna riverbed at Undavalli here today, even as the High Court declined to stay the action.

The “Praja Vedika” convention hall was built at a cost of Rs 8.90 crore essentially to conduct government conferences as there was no other facility in the state’s new capital city, during the tenure of former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

“Praja Vedika” was constructed adjacent to Naidu’s leased residence at Undavalli area. After he lost power in the recent elections, Naidu sought to annex the building and wrote a letter to Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in this regard. The Chief Minister, while holding the two-day conference of district collectors and superintendents of police in the ‘Vedika’ on Monday and Tuesday, declared the structure “illegal” and said it would be pulled down to send a strong message against unauthorised constructions.

Accordingly, the CRDA started dismantling the “Vedika” that is mostly a nuts and bolts structure. Meanwhile, a public interest litigation was filed in the High Court seeking a stay on the demolition, though the petitioner submitted that the building was “illegal.”

When the matter came up, Advocate General Sriram Subrahmanyam informed the court that the dismantling work was already underway.

Since the petitioner himself admitted that the “Vedika” was an illegal structure, there was no reason why its dismantling should be stopped, he said. Concurring with the AG, the High Court dismissed the petition.

NT Bureau