The city branch of the Communist Party of India, Marxists (CPM) proposed to the new Andhra Pradesh State Government to put a stop to the ambitious International Convention Center project in Visakhapatnam, promoted by the UAE-based LuLu Group. Apparently, the project was part of the overall aim of making Visakhapatnam a key destination for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) Tourism.
Last year, in an All Party Meet, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised that if brought into power, he would stop the project citing lack of transparency as the main reason. Recently, Mr B. Ganga Rao, City Secretary of CPM Visakhapatnam, wrote a letter to the CM reminding him of the promises. As reported by the Times of India the letter read “As opposition leader you had promised to stop the Lulu project. Now it’s time for you to keep your promise. You should stop the project and utilize the land for a public project”.
This project is estimated to cost Rs. 1500 crores. Being constructed at the APIIC Harbour Park, the Convention Centre is expected to contain a shopping mall, with over 200 national and international brands, an international convention hall, an 11 screen multiplex, a family entertainment centre, a 2,500 seater food court and a five-star hotel as well.
Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) had allocated 9.3 acres of land. This was given as a nominal lease. Thereafter, the previous State Government allocated an additional 4.5 acres of private land to the investors of this project. The foundation stone for the LuLu project in Visakhapatnam was laid during the CII Partnership in 2018.