Jagan Mohan Reddy orders demolition of Rs 5 crore hall built by Chandrababu Naidu

Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday ordered the demolition of a government building built during Naidu’s tenure. (File)

Newly elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday ordered the demolition of a government building built during the tenure of Chandrababu Naidu allegedly at a cost of Rs 5 crore, saying it was constructed in "violation" of rules and "involved corruption".

Built by the AP Capital Region Development Authority on the Krishna riverbed near Chandrababu’s residence, the ‘Praja Vedika’ was used by the TDP supremo to meet the public and hold press conferences.

Interestingly, the announcement was made by the YSR Congress chief at a conference of District Collectors and Superintendents of Police held in the same building.

"We have all assembled here, in this big, gigantic hall. Is this building a legally valid building? In this, there are no rules. It is built in violation of rules, against the law and built with corruption," PTI quoted Reddy as saying.

Jagan’s order comes weeks after Naidu wrote to him, seeking to declare the hall as ‘residence annexe’ of the Leader of Opposition.

Jagan, who won by a landslide in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the state, said the ongoing meeting would be the last event to be held in the building and the demolition would begin from Wednesday.

"I am giving instructions, orders from the same hall this will be the last meeting here in this hall. After completion of SPs meeting tomorrow, the first demolition will begin here. Lets live by an example. Lets start off here," he said.

The YSR Congress leader further said while tenders were invited for an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore, the cost was escalated to Rs 8.90 crore during execution.

Indicating that all rules were bypassed in constructing the building, the Andhra chief minister cited a letter written by the Irrigation Krishna Central Division Executive Engineer that said it was not possible to issue clearance for it.

"River Conservation Act was overruled, Lokayukta recommendations were overruled. Environment Protection Act, River Conservation Act, National Green Tribunal orders, Master Plan and building by-laws…government itself threw them to the winds," Jagan said.