Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Move to alienate Bhavani Island to private firm decried

The Hindu|March 05, 2018| Vishakhapatnam

 Social activist and former IAS officer E.A.S. Sarma on Sunday criticised the reported decision of the authorities to alienate Bhavani Island in the Krishna river to a private agency for setting up commercial facilities and described it as ‘imprudent and unacceptable.’

In a letter to Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar, the former IAS officer pointed out that in the Jagpal Singh vs. State of Punjab (Civil Appeal No.1132 /2011, SLP(C) No.3109/2011, arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) CC No. 19869 of 2010), the apex court had directed all the States including Andhra Pradesh on January 28, 2011 not to alienate ecologically sensitive government lands to private parties.

Mr. Sarma said the Bhavani Islands attracted this direction and, therefore, the State would be violating the apex court order if it alienated the land to any private party

Mr. Sarma said in the 2-G spectrum case, the apex court had prohibited the government from alienating natural resources to private parties through non-transparent procedures that obfuscated their value.

“It appears that the State is contemplating to give away Bhavani Island to a private party without going through a transparent procedure. If it is so, such a step would be a violation of the apex court’s order in that case,” he contended.

In the past, the State tried to alienate Bhavani Island to a private party but it had to refrain from it as there was a case filed before Lok Ayukta.

Apparently, the State had not learnt its lessons, Mr. Sarma remarked.

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