HYDERABAD: In an unusual move, the AP State Wakf Board (APSWB) last month approved the tenancy of an encroacher who had built a Santoshi Mata temple on wakf land.
The land in question belongs to the Koh-e-Imam-Zamin Shiite institution in Trimulgherry and the temple was built in the 1980s, which makes it difficult to remove the structure now, board members said. “The modus operandi which many encroachers and land grabbers employ is to grab wakf lands and quickly construct shrines on them overnight. The APSWB has no judicial powers and removing temples can create law and order problems,” board member Syed Altaf Hyder Razvi said.
Members said the Wakf Board has found itself in a catch-22 situation as there could be many Hindu religious structures built on various wakf land parcels and they have to use other means to tackle the situation in future . “The only way to evict such encroachers is to first make them tenants and then decline to extend the lease. While drafting the lease agreement and proceedings, we will make sure to include the clause that no temple should be constructed at the site,” said an APSWB official requesting anonymity.
“We have given one acre land in survey numbers 18/1 and 18/2 in Trimulgherry village and mandal,” the official said. The institution has 82 acres and 27 guntas attached to it. Of this, 55 acres and 10 guntas were acquired by the defence ministry and the remaining 27 acres and 11 guntas have multiple encroachments on them, he added.
On April 26, the APSWB unanimously resolved to fix a lease amount of Rs 10,000 per month with a non-refundable deposit of Rs 50,000 for the one acre land parcel. Interestingly, the board admits that the land has been in the possession of one Dr Balraj, who is the encroacher and a member of the Mata Santoshi Trust, since 1982.
It was in 2007 that Balraj had written to the secretary of the minorities welfare department, volunteering to become a tenant of the board after allegedly ‘proving that the land belongs to the Wakf Board’. A copy of the letter, which is in TOI’s possession, states that “after purchasing the land, the trust constructed the Santoshi Mata Temple on the rocks between 1982 and 1985″.
Defending their decision, Wakf Board officials pointed out that proceeding of the lease have not been drafted yet.
Land belongs to the Koh-e-Imam-Zamin Shiite institution in Trimulgherry As temple was built in the 80s, it’s difficult to remove the shrine APSWB urged to make encroachers tenants first and evict them by not extending lease.
HYDERABAD: Promoters of M/s Indu Projects Ltd and M/s Lepakshi Knowledge Hub Private Ltd, who procured 10,000 acres of land (8,844 acres in Anantapur and 250 acres in Shamshabad) at cheap rates from the YS Rajasekhara Reddy government for an IT SEZ and a knowledge hub, is still lying unused, the CBI said in its status report.
On the contrary, the promoter, who made quid pro quo investments in Jagan firms, mortgaged half of the land with banks such as PNB, Bank of India, UCO Bank, Kotak Mahindra and SBI, availing nearly Rs 1,000 crore loan for diverting it into real estate work.
These details were part of the report the CBI gave to the Supreme Court while opposing the bail plea of Nimmagadda Prasad, an accused in the Vanpic case, who was also found on the board of Indu Projects which was awarded many projects/contracts by the government of Andhra Pradesh between 2004 and 2009. The status report also narrated the way Indu got a 250 acre IT SEZ at Samshabad, using which the promoter of this firm availed Rs 175 crore bank loan without creating any infrastructure or jobs in the proposed SEZ.
Citing the contents of the status report, the bench said: “It is also highlighted that files were processed despite serious objections by the finance department about the financial implications of the proposed concessions proposed on the state exchequer, company’s financial standing; lack of credibility in terms of their past experience of the fledging company incorporated in July, 2008.”
However, the government led by late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy went ahead and entered into the MoA and alienated the said land by passing various government orders between September 22, 2008 and February 21, 2009, the report said.
According to the CBI, the value of 8,844 acres of land would be around Rs. 1,768 crore approximately now.
Detailing the fraud perpetrated in the name of IT SEZ at Samshabad, the CBI status report observed that M/s Indu Projects Ltd. floated a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called M/s Indu Techzone Pvt. Ltd, which is fully owned by M/s Indu Projects Ltd.
While allotting 250 acres of prime land at Shamshabad, near new International Airport of Hyderabad, several exemptions such as stamp duty and registration expenses, subsidized power, all external infrastructures up to the boundary of SEZ, tax exemptions/holiday were provided under ICT Policy and SEZ Act, 2005.
Land worth about Rs 1 crore per acre was given at a price of Rs 20 lakh per acre and it was further pointed out that the said project had to be completed within five years of allotment, which ended in the year 2011-2012. However, except developing a skeleton structure of about 7.50 lakh sft against 45 lakh sft, M/s Indu Techzone Pvt. Ltd. has failed to develop the project and has not created any new employment so far, the bench said in its order.
It is also pointed out that M/s Indu Techzone Pvt. Ltd., availed Rs 175 crore loan by mortgaging about 75 acres of land which is shown to have been spent for the development of the project. The investigating agency is of the opinion that a major chunk of the funds was diverted and or misappropriated.
HYDERABAD: Mayor Mohd Majid Hussain has directed Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials to acquire properties under the Land Acquisition Act if property owners do not come forward for negotiations. He also asked the town planning officials to file caveat in court cases to prevent status quo in land acquisition cases.
Speaking at a review meeting with the town planning officials on road widening issues, the mayor said the Lakdikapul parallel bridge got delayed due to court cases otherwise it would have been inaugurated a year ago.
Majid Hussain said the GHMC was spending about Rs 294 crore on flyovers, bridges, another Rs 94 crore on developing link roads and Rs 225 crore on road widening works. The mayor also called for explanation from officials on why a huge number of land acquisition cheques had expired and directed them to set some deadline for revalidation.
He further directed the town planning officials to submit a report on the number of approvals that were given by the GHMC standing committee for land acquisition, proposals processed and number of cheques that had lapsed. The Land Acquisition wing officials explained that revalidation of cheques were getting delayed due to legal heir issues and said the process of revalidation would be simplified to save time. He directed the officials to dispose of all cheques that were ready in 10 days.
HYDERABAD: The AP State Wakf Board (APSWB) on Monday passed a resolution to claim 323 acre and 18 guntas of land in Jubilee Hills as wakf property belonging to Hazrath Hakeem Shahe Baba Dargah.
The prime land claimed by the board covers localities in Jubilee Hills, Hakimpet, Tolichowki and Mehdipatnam. “Apollo Hospital land and parts of Film Nagar are located on the land that is being claimed as Wakf property,” said APSWB member Syed Altaf Hyder Razvi.
The government gazette of 1982, however, says that the extent of land belonging to the Dargah is only 4,448 square metres. But the Wakf Board obtained the ‘original muntakhab’, through which the land had been endowed to the Dargah, from the State Archives and Research Institute. It terms the extent of land as 323 acre and 18 guntas spread on two survey numbers — 92 and 102.
“The AP Gazette had erroneously published the extent of land in 1982. Old documents pertaining to the Dargah such as the muntakhab (number 786/4) issued around 114 years ago were obtained from the AP State Archives and Research Institute. These documents show that the attached dargah and serai measure 323 acres and 18 guntas,” said board chairman Syed Ghulam Afzal Biyabani.
The market value of the land being claimed runs into thousands of crores and is mostly under ‘encroachment’ by private persons and institutions.
The board said that errata can be issued under section 40 of the Wakf Act (1995). The prerequisite to passing such a notification is that the board should possess information that gives it reason to believe that a property is wakf. “The errata notification will be given to the government press and then the gazette will be published. This will give us solid ground to fight for these land parcels. We are legally strong now,” Razvi said.
The prime land claimed by the board covers localities in Jubilee Hills, Hakimpet, Tolichowki and Mehdipatnam. The market value of the land being claimed runs into thousands of crores.
Source: The Financial Express By: Isher Judge Ahluwalia Publish: 24-April-2013
HYDERABAD: District authorities have asked the office of the chief commissioner of land administration (CCLA) to set aside land mutation made to eight acres of prime land in Bandlaguda mandal on which a GHMC modern slaughterhouse is coming up.
Authorities have suggested cancellation of the mutation order that was given in April 2010 by a former collector’s office. The 2010 order was given when Naveen Mittal was the collector of Hyderabad district and it was given on the basis of a 1982 file of erstwhile Charminar Taluk which sought approval for mutation.
However, in a letter dated March 23 this year, collector S A M Rizvi informed the Commissioner Appeals in CCLA’s office that the 1982 file was not traceable and the orders thereof had no official sanctity. Rizvi recommended the setting aside of the mutation orders issue by the collector’s office in 2010.
Rizvi’s letter also states that the right procedure to make changes (mutations) to the survey records were not followed and notices were not served to call for objections before changing the title of the land.
It was further mentioned that the GHMC which has a slaughterhouse on the land was not served notice. A graveyard is also said to be located on the land.
“The then collector has erroneously acted on the request of tahsildar by issuing mutation proceedings in favour of parties, while the request of tahsildar itself was only for taking further instructions in the matter,” the collector wrote in the letter.
The issue of Gowlipura slaughterhouse surfaced after several land mutations that were effected between 2006 and 2010 came under the government scanner in 2011.
Ever since, the land has been a bone of contention between private parties and the government with the latter erecting boards claiming that it was under dispute to deter buyers. The private parties were allegedly making efforts to turn some part of the land into plots for sale.
HYDERABAD: The temple that attracts the most number of pilgrims in the country has no fire safety mechanism in place. Fire department officials are worried that despite reminders, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) administration is not installing the much-needed fire safety equipment. And the onset of summer has put in peril the safety of the thousands of pilgrims who visit the shrine everyday, the employees who work in the various offices as well as the structures including the main temple housing Lord Venkateshwara.
“None of the TTD-managed buildings in Tirumala has fire detection and fire fighting system including even hosepipes. We submitted a report to the TTD vigilance department in October last year urging them to immediately install the fire safety equipment. However, it has not happened till date,” Chittoor district fire safety officer E Swami told TOI.
As per the National Buildings Board Fire Code that is implemented in the state, the buildings should have hose reel system, fire hydrants, fire and smoke detector systems and fire exits. “Some of these mechanisms are there. But no building has all of them. Hence, we have not issued No Objection Certificates for even one structure on Tirumala but they are still continuing to function,” Swami said.
The structures which do not have the fire safety equipment include the main temple, kitchen, annadanam lodge, Vaikuntam complexes, auditorium, shopping complex with three floors, the prestigious 100-room Nandakam guest house that was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee last year, Varahaswami Guest House, Padmavati Guest House and Madhavam Guest House.
The guest houses together comprise about 2,000 rooms. “At any point of time, there are a minimum of 10,000 to 15,000 people moving around or resting or working in the offices. All of them are vulnerable to fire mishaps in the absence of the fire safety mechanism,” said sources.
HYDERABAD: In a rare instance of responding to environmental concerns, the government has acknowledged threats to lakes in Mir Alam Basin, but those working for the protection of lakes say it is a case of too little too late.
After carrying out comprehensive pre-monsoon and post-monsoon studies last year on existing lakes in Mir Alam Basin, civil society activists and researchers from Hyderabad found that eight lakes have disappeared in the three decades. The situation of 10 surviving lakes which were under threat was pointed out to Rangareddy district administration of GHMC and HMDA, with details of encroachment and causes of pollution like industrial effluents and drainage inflows.
In their response, the tehsildar of Ranjendranagar mandal, under directions of the collector of Rangareddy, acknowledged encroachments in some lakes.
In the Mir Alam Tank, authorities spoke of debris covering an extent of one acre and cutting of protective fences around the lake at some places last year. In case of Shilan Cheruvu, the report admitted that 0.3 acre of the 9 acre lake area was being used to burn dead bodies. In most lakes, the officials said no new encroachments were found.
The issue of lake pollution was overlooked in the response by the district administration, though researchers pointed it out along with the encroachments and location details.
In the 373 acre Mir Alam Lake, for instance, the study pointed out 25 locations near the lake where there was inflow of sewerage and plastic dumping. In other lakes too, the issue of pollution due to garbage and plastic dumping and burning, and sewerage inflow, besides release of industrial effluents was pointed out.
Civil society activists involved with the study said the official response was short on many issues. The absence of response to Oora Cheruvu was conspicuous. The study also pointed the construction of a religious structure which is alleged to be a ploy by land grabbers to encroach lake area.
“While the authorities have responded to some, many issues have been left out. Encroachment is taking place in Oora Cheruvu with the assistance of some powerful people but the district administration has not said anything about it,” said one activist involved with the study.
About 10 lakes, environmentalists said were in a precarious situation. The 10 lakes are Mir Alam Tank near zoo park, Krishna Nagar Talab in Attapur, Marsha Bhai Kunta Attapur, Noor Mohammed Kunta Shivarampally, Kishen Bagh Cheruvu, Pedda Talli Kunta in Attapur, Oora Cheruvu Shivarampally, Shiva Nagar Kunta Shivarampally, Shilan Cheruvu Shivarampally and Rukn-ud-Dowla in Shivarampally. All lakes lie in Rajendranagar Mandal.
HYDERABAD: Police on Thursday booked Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) corporator Mohammed Murtuza and a marble businessman for trespassing into a government property near the Chanchalguda women prison. They removed a signboard declaring the 200 square yard plot as ‘government property’.
Saidabad tehsildar N Radika Ramani and other staff on Wednesday visited the site to re-errect the board on the plot. The marble businessman Nadeem prevented them from doing so, while the MIM corporator threatened her over the phone.
Speaking to TOI, tehsildar N Radika Ramani said the 200 square yard land near the Chanchalguda jail was part of the notified land of Sarkari Jail. A board was also erected declaring it as a government land. Illegal hutments were removed a couple of days near the location.
“On Wednesday, the government-erected board was missing and a new board ‘Tavakal Marbles and Granites’ was seen there. Marble and granite slabs were dumped at the plot. When I found out about it, I went to the location but Nadeem refused to vacate it and said that the land was given to him by MIM corporator Murtuza,” Ramani said. When Nadeem made the tehsildar talk to Murtuza over the phone, the corporator allegedly told her not to meddle in the issue by stating that the land belongs to the GHMC and was alienated.
“With great difficulty, our officials re-erected the board declaring it a government property, but the marble and granite slabs continues to be stacked there. I lodged a police complaint stating that Nadeem trespassed on government land at the behest of Murtuza,” the tahsildar added.
Meanwhile, the Madannapet police on Thursday registered a case under sections 447 (Criminal trespass) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Murtuza and Nadeem.
HYDERABAD: The Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) installed near 14 lakes of the city are not good enough to get rid of pollutants and most of the ‘treated water’ cannot sustain aquatic life and is poisonous enough to kill thirsty domestic animals.
A latest report by the Pollution Control Board (PCB) on STPs revealed that water in lakes still contain pollutants much higher than the permissible limits even after treatment. Readings of the treated water of STP at Khairatabad and at the Hussainsagar lake, between June, 2012 and February 2013, show the presence of high levels of BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) in the treated water.
The permissible levels of BOD are not more than 30 ms/l and that of COD is 250 ms/l. However, BOD levels were found to be as high as 116 ms/l and those of COD were found to be touching 284 ms/l in some of the monthly readings, which means the water still cannot support aquatic life.
Another analysis conducted at the Amberpet STP in February this year showed that the pH value of the treated water was 9.4, whereas the permissible range is between 5.5 and 9, which means the water is alkaline in nature. “The high levels of COD and BOD in Hussainsagar prove that it is highly contaminated and not fit for anything. Not only is this water poisonous to aquatic animals but also a great threat to domestic animals like cattle and dogs which may quench their thirst with the lake water,” said K Babu Rao, an environmentalist and scientist.
The high alkaline levels at Amberpet STP is also pose a grave threat to the people of the surrounding areas as the Musi lake water may percolate into ground water, environmentalists say. “The usage of highly alkaline water even for domestic purpose may result in a various health conditions including skin infections to respiratory disorders,” Babu Rao added.
Even in the past, environmentalists criticized about the low capacity of these STPs which render it ineffective in completely treating waste water. The existing capacities of the STPs range from 4 mld to 339 mld.
A senior official of pollution board said that only a small part of waste water is being treated at the STPs whereas most of it is getting routed back into the lake. “These STPs have low capacity and hence, it is not possible to store and hold large volumes of waste water,” he said on condition of anonymity.
Power disruptions are also adding to the problem with the STPs not functioning for at least three hours everyday, thanks to the power cuts. “The administration has absolutely no back-up mechanism in place to ensure that STPs function continuously,” said Thakur Rajkumar, covenor, SOUL (Save Our Urban Lakes). “These plants cannot run with generators or inverters since they need a lot of power and the result is untreated water keeps flowing into the lakes for hours together. If this goes on throughout summer, then the condition of lakes will only worsen,” he added.