The state Cabinet termed the agreement with Lulu atrocious and decided to cancel it.
The Andhra Pradesh government has cancelled the allotment of 13.83 acre of prime land in Visakhapatnam by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government to UAE-based Lulu group for construction of an international convention centre.
The UAE-based group had the laid foundation stone for the Rs 2,200-crore project in February last year. The project included a mega commercial complex, convention centre-cum-exhibition hall with 7,000 seating capacity, a five-star hotel with 220 rooms and other supporting facilities. The company had promised to provide over 5,000 direct and 5,000 indirect jobs in the largest integrated project, which was expected to be operational from 2022.
The state Cabinet termed the agreement with Lulu atrocious and decided to cancel it. Land that was worth Rs 50 crore per acre was given away at a measly lease of Rs 4.51 lakh per month.
According to state information and public relations minister Perni Nani, the Cabinet has taken the decision as the previous government had allotted the prime land to the sole bidder, Lulu group, though global tenders were floated for the purpose.
“The decision was taken to favour the group close to the powers be at that time and in violation of all Central Vigilance Commission guidelines, including one that stipulates that if there is a single bidder, the tender should be cancelled. Therefore, we have decided to revoke the allotment,” he said.
It was proposed under the Tourism Mission undertaken by the previous government which had chosen the Lulu group as the developer in July 2017 and allotted the land, including 3.4 acres belonging to a private firm.
A note from the government said that the Chandrababu government had also taken 3.4 acres from a private entity and unjustifiably gave it more costly land as alternative in the heart of Visakhapatnam.
Also, the Cabinet scrapped the allocation of 498.93 acre at Jaggaiahpet in Krishna district to VBC group, which manages the GITAM University and owned by the kin of Chandrababu Naidu. The previous TDP government had in July 2015 allotted the land to VBC Fertilisers owned by late TDP leader MVVS Murthy, a close relative of actor Nandamuri Balakrishna. Setting up a chemical factory in the area would endanger the health of the local people. Hence, the allotment was cancelled.