Andhra minister slams TDP chief for criticism over state's acquisition of Kakinada mangrove forests

Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], May 13 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh minister for Marketing and Fisheries Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao on Tuesday hit out at TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu for his criticism of the government over the land acquisition of Kakinada mangrove forests for the Housing for Poor scheme.

The minister said that previously the Congress and the TDP governments had also had acquired lands for housing schemes at the same place. When the YSRCP government is attempting to give houses to poor in the same area, the TDP is politicising the matter, he lambasted.

The minister questioned how when Chandrababu Naidu had constructed houses through TIDCO, he was not concerned for the mangrove forests but is realizing their value now.

The fisheries minister said that the government will constitute an aqua authority under which all aqua, fisheries, and marine produce will be brought.

He said that aqua and fisheries sectors are heavily affected with the lockdown but that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy was trying to get a good price for produce. He said he had called on MPEDA chairman and held talks about permissions for exports.

The minister reminded that the exports of aqua and fisheries to other states have come down from 250 lorries to 50 lorries. To change that situation, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, the minister said, had held talks with other chief ministers and is trying to get the markets opened.

Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday raised an objection over the state government's decision to clear the Mada forest in East Godavari district to provide housing for the needy.

The former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh was of the view that clearing out the Mada Forest would destroy the livelihood of more than 54,000 fishermen and their families living in the region.

"Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy's decision to wipe out the Mada Forest will not just bring large scale devastation to Kakinada in the form of storm surges and land erosion, but will also destroy the livelihoods of more than 54,000 fishermen and their families living in the region," he said in a press statement. (ANI)