Rushikonda tourism project inaugurated

Rushikonda tourism project inaugurated

Ministers hint at converting it as CM's camp office later

Visakhapatnam: Brushing the allegations made by the Opposition aside, the YSRCP government on Thursday inaugurated the costliest tourism project at Rushikonda. The grand project was formally inaugurated by Tourism Minister RK Roja, IT Minister Gudivada Amarnath, seer of Visakha Sri Sarada Peetham Swaroopanandendra Saraswati and Rajya Sabha member YV Subba Reddy, among others, amidst tight security. With the onset of the election season, the tourism project that comprises seven buildings is set to draw the attention of the political parties.

Until Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decides to utilise it as his camp office, the premises will continue to be a tourism resort, said the ministers.

However, the project turned out to be controversial when permission was sought from the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation for about 65 acres. Environmentalists and political parties approached the court against the manner in which Rushikonda was excavated. In connection with this, cases were filed in the High Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT).

As per the orders of the High Court, a five-member expert committee carried out a survey on Rushikonda and concluded that there were violations in the project. Later, the High Court directed the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment to probe the violations. It also examined it with an experts committee. The final verdict of the project is awaited.

While the building was formally inaugurated by the Tourism Minister along with other key leaders of the YSRCP, it is rumoured that the Chief Minister will shift to Visakhapatnam after March 5 and stay in the city for three days a week.

There is also a campaign going on that the resort would be handed over to a key leader of the ruling party. The Rushikonda project that hogged the limelight for quite a while has to be seen for which purpose it will be utilised in future.

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