Construction of resort on Rushikonda Hill is against VMRDA Master Plan, says former bureaucrat

‘As per G.O. no. 3454, the natural features need to be conserved’

The construction of a resort on Rushikonda Hill is against the mandate in the earlier Master Plan of VMRDA (formerly VUDA), said former bureaucrat E.A.S Sarma.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Municipal Administration and Urban development (MA&UD), he pointed out that as per the G.O. no. 3454 of the MA&UD, dated June 30, 2006, the natural features, especially the hilly terrain, need to be conserved.

Quoting from the G.O., Mr. Sarma pointed out that the G.O. specified that, “The environmentally sensitive zones in the region are the natural features such as hills, forest and water bodies. These need to be conserved and kept in original glory. These have been identified for conservation in their natural form.”

According to him, there are apex court directions that reiterate the obligation of the State to treat the natural features as held by it in the public trust and not disturb the same in any manner. Any damage caused to such natural features amounts to an outright breach of the public trust, he said.

The construction activity taken up over the Rushikonda hilly terrain violates this requirement. No land-use changes can be permitted in the VMRDA area without public consultation and, in the specific case of hills and water bodies, no land-use change is permissible at all in the first instance, Mr. Sarma said.

He demanded that all construction activity has to be stopped and action initiated against those responsible.

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