Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scrap Vanpic deal, demands Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today reiterated its demand that the State Government scrap its deal with Vanpic (Vodarevu and Nizampatnam Port & Industrial Corridor) as it is anchored in corruption and collusion and harmed public interest.

In a media statement, Lok Satta Party General Secretary Katari Srinivasa Rao recalled that Lok Satta Party President and Kukatpally legislator Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had on March 8, 2011 told the Assembly that the Vanpic deal was another 2-G scam and sought its cancellation.

The State Government allocated thousands of acres of land for a private port company without competitive bidding and without taking the Union Government into confidence and earmarked a huge area as its exclusive zone.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao pointed out that Singapore port which handles 515 million tons of cargo -- equivalent to the cargo handled by all the ports in India is located in 1200 acres -- whereas Vanpic has been allotted thousands of acres. While the waterfront of Visakhapatnam port is 13-15 km and of Mumbai 13 km, Vanpic has been earmarked 92 km.

The Lok Satta leader said that if the State Government does not cancel the agreement and resume lands, the Union Government can step in as ports come under the Concurrent List of the Constitution.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao made it clear that the Lok Satta is not opposed either to ports or private enterprise so long as public resources like land are allocated rationally and transparently.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao also faulted the State Government for its failure to act on disclosure of settlements made by Bhanu, an accused in the Madelacheruvu Suri murder case, in Jalayagnam projects.

Mr Bhanu Kiran confessed that he ensured irrigation contracts were awarded to certain parties by brow-beating competitors and using threat of force. Any contract based on violation of law or coercion or fraud is void in law. Once a notorious criminal confessed to such actions, the Government should cancel the contracts. However, the Government is acting as if it has no responsibility to protect public interest. Such cultivated inaction and criminal neglect to protect public interest is serious dereliction of duty and violation of oath of office.

The Lok Satta Party demanded that immediate action should be taken to cancel all such contracts based on fraud or coercion.

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