Two-member committee formed to probe Simhachalam land issue: Muttamsetti

‘Action will be taken against those involved in irregularities’

Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao has said that action will be taken against those involved in irregularities relating to Simhachalam temple lands.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, he alleged that several leaders and workers of the Telugu Desam Party(TDP) were involved in a number of land irregularities in the Visakhapatnam district during their tenure.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that during a recent review meeting the officials had brought to the government’s notice that about 740 acres of Simhachalam temple lands were removed from the registers without the consent of higher officials. He said that the Endowments Minister has constituted a two-member committee, comprising Joint Collectors of Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts Kishore Babu and M. Venugopal Reddy respectively, to probe the issue. The committee would submit a report within 10 days to the Endowments Minister. “Once the report is submitted, we would take action against the persons involved,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

Reiterating that the State government has responsibility to protect the government lands, the Minister asked the Opposition parties not to portray these moves as revenge-seeking acts. Action will be taken against those involved in land irregularities despite their social status, he added. Mr. Srinivasa Rao said that the government would conduct another meet in 15 days on the issue.

Road works

He said that works related to six-lane road from Visakhapatnam to Bhogapuram via Bheemili would be speeded up. He said that large-scale sapling plantation programmes would be taken up by the State government in Visakhapatnam to check pollution. In July, a programme would be organised to plant one lakh saplings in a day, he said.

The Minister said that there were about 790 slums in Visakhapatnam and the government would prepare an action plan to provide basic amenities to the residents.

MP V. Vijaya Sai Reddy said that the State government is making all efforts to solve the ‘pancha grama’ lands issue.

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