The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), on Monday night, removed the statues of actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao, director Dasari Narayana Rao, and politician Nandamuri Harikrishna at Beach Road in Vizag. Numerous policemen were deployed at the site as the authorities got rid of the statues.
The statues, which were unveiled by TDP leader Ganta Srinivasa Rao in December last year, have been facing the heat ever since Bolisetty Satyanarayana filed a writ petition in Andhra Pradesh High Court claiming that they were installed without seeking any requisite permissions. Following this, the High Court had sent notices to Ganta Srinivasa Rao, former Rajya Sabha member and Padma Bhushan recipient Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad, Ponnada Mohan Rao, state municipal administration secretary Karikal Valaven and GVMC Commissioner Hari Narayanan in this regard.
Earlier, the High Court had also asked the GVMC Commissioner to seek an explanation from the individuals involved. However, it was reported that the authorities couldn’t take any action during the election season.
The installation of these statues in Vizag was cited as a violation of the Supreme Court’s orders. In 2013, SC released an order banning fresh encroachment of roads, pavements and sideways by the construction of religious structures or installation of statues of public figures. The Supreme Court had also ordered all state governments and union territories to deny permission for erecting statues.