The cancellation spree continues in Andhra Pradesh. After Polavaram, this time the Jaganmohan Reddy government has cancelled the Machilipatnam Port Private Limited Concession agreement to develop a deepwater port in Machilipatnam in Krishna district. It has also asked for the company to return the 412.57 acres of land that was handed over to it.
This is a double blow to Navayuga Engineering Company limited which was the lead promoter of both the Polavaram and the Machilipatnam projects.
While the decision on Polavaram was frowned upon by the Centre, with Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Shekhawat expressing his unhappiness in Parliament, the Machilipatnam cancellation has given wings to conspiracy theories. Chandrababu Naidu has alleged that Jagan plans to hand over the port to Telangana which is a land-locked state.
The plan to develop Machilipatnam port was started in 2008 but despite several firms being involved in it, it is yet to see the light of the day.
The twin hits to Navayuga has raised eyebrows over whether the company is paying for past deeds and connections with another project. In 2012, Navayuga Engineering sold its 65 per cent stake in Vanpic (Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Industrial corridor located in Guntur and Prakasam districts) and it was then interpreted as an attempt to distance itself from Jagan who had then moved out of the Congress, floated his own party and was in the dock for alleged corruption cases.
This was because the CBI had accused industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad of investing Rs 1000 crore in companies controlled by Jagan as quid pro quo for obtaining land for Vanpic’s industrial corridor and port project. Prasad had then been arrested by the CBI and in fact, is now once again out on bail in Serbia after he was again arrested in connection with the same project.
Navayuga group secured the contracts worth Rs 3000 crore in the Polavaram project which have now been cancelled.