(Dr EAS Sarma)
I have come across on the internet a lease agreement dated 6-8-2016 (copy enclosed) signed by Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) with the Jindal Group for setting up a waste processing thermal power project in Old S.No 314 of Kapulauppada village near Visakhapatnam.
Apparently, GVMC had never held any public consultation prior to signing such an agreement with the Jindal Group nor GVMC had ever cared to exercise due diligence about the nature of the land in S.No 314 and considered the fact that the entire S.No 314 (Old) comprising 3148 acres had been notified under GO Rt No 627 (Education) dated 2-5-1978 as a prohibited archaeological site.
Clearly, GVMC ought not to have signed such an agreement with a private company for setting up structures that would interfere with the highly valuable archaeological evidence.
As pointed out, as early as in 1978, the entire extent of S.No 314 (Old) came under a notification issued under AP Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1960 (Andhra Pradesh Act VII of 1960) with the boundaries in different directions unambiguously indicated. I have enclosed a copy of that GO Rt for your ready reference.
Regarding the details of Old S.No 314, the same may be seen in the District Collector’s proceedings No. 2686/2014/E2/ dt 17-9-2016.
In one case that had come up before Hon’ble AP High court in WP No. 173/2016, Hon’ble High Court had pronounced an order dated 29-11-2016 reaffirming the above position, that is, no construction activity could be taken up in Old S.No 314 of Kapulauppada village as it was notified under the above-cited archaeology Act. I have enclosed a copy of the relevant court order for your ready reference.
In other words, ab initio, the lease agreement signed by GVMC with the Jindal Group is legally void.
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