Visakhapatnam: The GVMC officials, along with police personnel, flattened a go-kart park at Mangamaripeta beach, about 20 km from Visakhapatnam, in the early hours of 21 November. The park was run by Kasi Associates, represented by Kasi Viswanath who is a close aide of former TDP minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

The go-kart park, spread across an acre, violated CRZ norms, said a senior GVMC official who led the team. They later put up boards warning encroachers.

Kasi told this correspondent that the land belonged to a private company, Vizag Profiles, and he had signed a lease agreement for 10 years in 2010. He had invested Rs. 4.5 crore and developed the go-kart park and other entertainment centres on the beach which attracted a large number of tourists.

"The lease ends next month. I would have vacated the land voluntarily. There was no need for the officials to demolish the temporary structures and damage furniture without prior notice," he said. The one-of-its-kind entertainment centre also drew the attention of former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, he said, adding Mr. Naidu was impressed with the park and had asked him to develop a similar park in Amaravati.

Denying the allegations that CRZ norms had been violated, Kasi said he had obtained permission from VUDA (now VMRDA) for the temporary structures.

Meanwhile, a senior GVMC official said they have launched a special drive on the Beach Road to demolish all structures which violated CRZ norms.

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