KOPPAL: Officials, led by Assistant Commissioner Narayanareddy on Wednesday, sealed more than 50 illegal resorts around Anegundi in Gangavati taluk of Koppal district. The resorts have been given 24 hours to wind up operations.
On Tuesday, Koppal DC S Vikas Kishore shot missives giving a 48-hour deadline to officials, including the Assistant Commissioner, to take action against illegal resorts and submit a report. These resorts had resurfaced on agricultural land after illegal resorts were demolished on March 3, 2020 at Viruapapura Gaddi (an islet) due to alleged illegal activities.
Anegundi and 14 other villages of Gangavati taluk, besides 14 villages of neighbouring and newly-carved Vijayanagara district, come under the Hampi World Heritage Area and Management Authority (HWHAMA) where conversion of agricultural land for non-agriculture purpose is banned.
Spurt in resorts in the area can be attributed to international tourists visiting Hampi, Anegundi and surrounding areas. Owners of “illegal” resorts are said to be demanding regularisation of resorts to promote tourism in the area, said sources.
However, the DC maintained that though revision of norms of ‘Master Plan’ for HWHAMA is underway, the same is yet to be approved by the State Government and as per existing norms, resorts or commercial establishments cannot function on agricultural land. The DC in his ‘deadline missive’ on Tuesday said that in case of failure, the government will recommend disciplinary action against officials, including the Assistant Commissioner and HWHAMA commissioner.
In fact, the DC had written to officials, including the Assistant Commissioner and HWHAMA commissioner, in September this year to initiate action against illegal resorts. Following inaction, the DC had set the 48-hour deadline on Tuesday.