Amaravthi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who has started cracking the whip on projects sanctioned prior to April 1, 2019 by the previous N Chandrababu Naidu government. He has also put his focus on the projects and consultants roped in by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) in Amaravathi.

Shocking disclosures have come out with regard to the appointment of the consultants and their salaries.It is alleged that the previous TDP regime had appointed retired officials and corporate employees by giving them heavy pay-packages. This has been costing the State exchequer a sizable amount of money, which is estimated to be around Rs 20 lakh per month, only for the consultants salaries.

Josula Sivaramakrishna Sastry who is heading the CRDA strategy division is said to be paid around Rs 3 lakh per month. He said to have had an upper hand in the decision making in the affairs of the CRDA more than the commissioner himself.

Another director L Chennakesava Rao who was supervising the capital land affairs was receiving huge salary as a consultant. It is said that he was reappointed to the same post even after retiring. His posting came under heavy criticism as there are reports of major irregularities in the way land was acquired and assigned from the 'Capital farmers'.

Abdul Shukoor who was working as a chief engineer in the housing division of the CRDA, is alleged to have operated according to his own whims and fancies. He is alleged to have awarded contracts to various companies in violation of basic rules and regulation and at the behest of the previous government. After his retirement last year, Abdul Shukoor was appointed as a consultant in the same division.

Another controversial name that crops up is former Thulluru Tahsildar Anne Sudhir Babu. It is said that he was appointed as an Officer on Special Duty and was involved in the land acquisition of farm land from farmers and was said to have indulged in several irregularities during his term. Apart from continuing as OSD he appointed Ramakrishna as another OSD who is said to be working under his terms.

In another case of irregularity, TDP minister Narayana's OSD Prabhala Gopinath was shown as a CRDA contract employee and paid a hefty salary even though he was working with the minister.

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R Ramakrishna Rao who retired as a director of the Capital Region Master Planning division was appointed as a consultant and has been working with the CRDA for the past two years.

Vasthu Siddhanthi Veera Raghavulu who is said to be a close aide of Chandrababu Naidu's family members was appointed as a Vasthu Consultant in the CRDA. He is said to have given vasthu advice during the Capital inauguration ceremony and also for the construction of the temporary secretariat building.

All these retired officials and consultants were said to be paid Rs one lakh to Rs two lakh in emoluments. It is reported that more than 50 consultants were appointed in the Planning, Social Development, Traffic, Transportation, Accounts and Finance and various other divisions of the CRDA. Senior and experienced government officials in the same field were sidelined and people from the corporate and retired government officials favourable to the TDP regime were appointed with high salaries which has cast a sizeable dent on the State treasury over the past five years.

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