The Andhra Pradesh government has restored the mining lease of Saraswati Power Industries Limited, a company which was earlier linked to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The lease for mining limestone in Guntur district was cancelled by N Chandrababu Naidu in October 2014 after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. The lease was originally allotted to Saraswati Power Industries Limited by the Congress government under Y S Rajashekara Reddy to mine limestone in 613 hectares in three villages of Vemavaram, Tangeda and Chennaipalem villages in Guntur district. Claiming that it was a Benami company of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Naidu had cancelled the lease.
Jella Jagan Mohan Reddy, one of the directors of Saraswati Power Industries Limited, is also a director in Bharathi Cement Corporation Pvt Ltd, Bharathi Power Corporation Pvt Ltd, and YSR Foundation. Y S Bharathi, the wife of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, is a director in Bharathi Cements. Recently, the government restored the lease of Saraswati Power Industries Limited.
Minister for Mines and Geology, Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy told The Indian Express that restoration of the lease to Saraswati Power Industries Limited was done as per the established norms. “The Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is unnecessarily raising a hue and cry. The State government has acted as per the guidelines of Mines & Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act under section 8A(3), and done as per the orders given by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on December 12, 2019,’’ he said.
He said that Chandrababu Naidu was unnecessarily creating a controversy over restoring lease of the company by tagging the Chief Minister. “In united AP, the government gave 613 hectares of land for Saraswati Powers for limestone mining but due to political reasons, during TDP rule in 2014, Chandrababu Naidu cancelled the lease. The company approached the court, which ordered the state government on December 12, 2019 to restore the lease. Following the court orders, the State government restored the lease and extended to 50 years as per the MMDR Act. The opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu is making unnecessary allegations on the government, despite the fact that he extended the lease period of 30 industries for over 50 years,” Ramachandra Reddy said.
“Today Naidu is accusing the State government of restoring lease of one single industry though properly done but he has extended leases just two months before his term expired,’’ he said.
All mining activity in the State is being done with the permits given during the previous government and no new licences were provided. “Chandrababu is unnecessarily politicising every minor issue and making false accusations,” he said.
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