HYDERABAD: Hyderabad Metro Rail’s land acquisition process has run into rough weather with AP State Wakf Board (APSWB) on Tuesday slapping a notice on it for acquiring around 900 square yards of land endowed to a wakf institution in Kukatpally without its approval.
The usually slumbering APSWB swung into action to issue notices to various authorities, including Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) for the acquisition.
On receiving a complaint from BJP Minority Morcha FS Layaq Ali, APSWB task force officer MA Khuddus along with his team reached the Dargah Hazrat Shah Ali Abbas, and stopped land acquisition for the metro rail and an ongoing construction work on around 220 square yards.
According to Khuddus, HMR has made GHMC an agency for acquiring land for the metro project. Worse, throwing all rules to the wind, the GHMC also paid a compensation of Rs 1.85 crore to one Arif Quadri, who claimed to be the mutawalli (custodian) of the institution, when it actually happens to be under direct control of the APSWB.
“An arch was demolished by the GHMC as the HMRL wanted it for land acquisition under survey number 582 and 583. This was done without the APSWB’s knowledge,” Quddus told TOI.
“We have issued notices to the GHMC deputy commissioner circle 14 BV Gangadhar Reddy apart from lodging a complaint with the Kukatpally police station. The institution is wakf notified as per AP Gazette of 1989.”
Further, Ranga Reddy wakf inspector-auditor Shaik Noor Saheb also issued GHMC a notice bringing to light an illegal construction that had begun without obtaining permissions from competent authorities. “Shah Ali Abbas from Standard Engineering Works is carrying out construction without permission. We have informed this to the GHMC authorities,” said Khuddus.
When contacted, APSWB member Syed Altaf Hyder Razvi said the matter is being looked into and legal opinion sought for further action. “This is not the first instance as properties of Nala-e-Mubarak in Begumpet too were acquired by GHMC for road widening twice, once in the late 90s and then in 2006. The compensation amount is yet to be paid. The GHMC forgets about such things,” he said.
This is the second instance within a week when authorities have proceeded with wakf land acquisition without informing the APSWB.
It was earlier reported in these columns that the GHMC went ahead with a multi-crore road widening project in Karwan without the approval of the board. The project now hangs in the balance as a petitioner had sought a stay. The case is pending in the Wakf Tribunal.
HYDERABAD: After initial hiccups, the ‘Anywhere Registration’ of property project is back on the rails. The Stamps and Registrations department is all set to launch the project in two more districts, Medak and Nalgonda, on Monday. Sources said by the end of June, the facility will be available throughout the state.
The ‘Anywhere Registration’ of property project allows a citizen to register his or her property in any of the Sub-Registrar Offices (SROs) within the district. The facility has several advantages for the state as well as the property owner, including convenience, simplification of the process as the citizen can get the property registered at an office where there is no rush, and even distribution of work as far as the state is concerned. As per the existing system, a property can be registered only at the sub-registrar office where its jurisdiction falls.
In all, there are 432 SROs spread across 38 financial districts in the state. On an experimental basis, the state launched the ‘Anywhere Registration’ of property facility in Hyderabad district on February 1, 2013, and in Rangareddy district on March 1. Rangareddy district, which continues to witness the maximum property transactions in the state, has 34 SROs with the one at Qutuballapur the busiest. Hyderabad has 11 SROs. “The project is a big success, as within a short time, we found that about 11% of the total property registrations were intra-district, meaning taking place at other SROs than where the property was located,” said Vinod Kumar Agarwal, principal secretary, stamps and registrations, revenue department. In Hyderabad district, sleepy SROs like the one in Charminar began registering about 1,200 registrations a month as against the earlier 400 registrations.
However, the expansion was opposed by the sub-registrars, who claimed that the project has many pitfalls, and should not be extended to other districts unless the issues are addressed and sorted out. It is common knowledge that the maximum corruption takes place in the stamps and registrations department in view of the land deals with the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths trapping nearly one case on a daily basis there. “There was opposition to the project from several ‘lucrative’ SROs as they stand to lose the revenue that goes into their pockets once the registrations take place in other offices,” said sources.
Determined to stall the project, The AP Sub-Registrars Association met stamps and registration minister Thota Narasimham on March 13. Following their representation, the minister issued orders suspending the expansion of the project to other districts with effect from March 15 until a department study report addressed the issues raised by the sub-registrars and submitted a report suggesting ways and means to fix it. In all, the sub-registrars had raised six points.
First of the objection was that in Hyderabad and Rangareddy, where the project is in place, the SRO where the registration is taking place is not obtaining the consent of the SRO concerned (where the jurisdiction of the property falls) before registering the property. To this, the study report maintained that details of all properties are available online and therefore, there was no need to secure the consent of the SRO concerned before the property is registered.
Secondly, the sub-registrars contended that in the ‘Anywhere Registration’ facility, the owner’s name, survey number, extent of the property and classification are not detailed and that this can give rise to double registration. But, according to the study report, in the existing system too, the owner’s name and extent of the property are not recorded. Therefore, double registration is not an issue unique to the new facility, it was stated.
Based on the findings of the study report, minister Narasimham okayed the extension of the project to other districts in the second week of May and the department on Saturday issued orders for launching “Anywhere Registration” of property in Medak and Nalgonda from Monday.
A hassle-free property registration
The ‘Anywhere Registration’ project allows a citizen to register his or her property in any of the Sub-Registrar Offices (SROs) within the district.
The project was launched on an experimental basis in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts earlier this year.
It proved to be a huge success with number of registrations in a ‘sleepy SRO’ like Charminar going up from 400 in a month to about 1,200 now.
However, following complaints from several ‘lucrative’ SROs against the project, stamps and registration minister Thota Narasimham on March 15 suspended the project and sought a departmental report.
Following the study report, the project is to be launched in Medak and Nalgonda districts on Monday, and later extended to all districts in the state.
HYDERABAD: With many plots in special economic zones (SEZ) and industrial parks, developed by the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), lying vacant due to lack of poor marketing, the corporation has decided to rope in professionals to market its project like private developers.
For marketing and promoting its SEZs and industrial parks, the APIIC is now in the process of hiring marketing and communication managers. The marketing professionals will knock on the doors of big industrialists and promoters and invite them to set up shop at the SEZs and industrial parks.
As of now, 115 SEZs, mostly in the past decade, have come up in the state. Of them, 76 SEZs were notified and others have formal approval. Among the notified, 17 were promoted by APIIC. Another six SEZs were taken up as joint venture projects like Fab City in the city and Ramky Pharma City in Visakhapatnam. Similary, 30 SEZs were promoted by private developers and 21 were developed by private parties with the assistance of APIIC.
“APIIC is developing an international leather park in Krishnapatnam in an extent of 487 acres (50 plots) by pumping in Rs 172 crore. Our marketing team will meet 20 industrialists and entrepreneurs working in the leather industry and present facilities and features being provided at the park (on the lines of a Chittoor-based SEZ promoter),” APIIC vice-chairman and managing director Jayesh Ranjan told STOI.
Apart from the leather park, APIIC has proposed to develop a ‘Games City’ in Raidurg for gaming, animation media and entertainment in an extent of 30 acres on the lines of the Singapore Multi Media Super Corrdior and Dubai Media City. Similarly, Financial Tower is being developed by the Infrastructure Corporation in 302 acres in Nanakramguda with four lakh built up space, which needs a good marketing strategy.
Officials said over 1,500 plots ranging between five acres and 25 acres (nearly 2.91 crore square metres) were lying vacant in industrial parks in the state, including 496 plots in Shamshabad, 137 in Jeedimetla industrial area, 108 in Patancheru, four plots in Moula Ali, 366 plots in Kurnool and 166 plots in Visakhapatnam.
“Lethargic APIIC officers do not even make any effort to attract entrepreneurs. Even if any entrepreneur goes to them seeking land allotment, they make him do the rounds for getting a plot,” an industrialist remarked.
However, officials claim since April plot allotment application was posted online to simplify procedures and ensure hassle-free clearances. They said nearly 1,500 applications were received online and over 600 were cleared till this month.
HYDERABAD: A five-acre land donated by Sakku Bai Society for a graveyard in Shaikpet mandal is allegedly being encroached by land sharks who are constructing an apartment complex on the land illegally. The issue came to light when locals gave a petition to Hyderabad collector Syed Ali Murtaza Rizvi at ‘Mee Kosam’ programme at the collectorate on Monday.
According to the locals, the Sakku Bai Society had donated the five-acre land for the graveyard.
The locals told the collector that they had lodged a complaint with police on the illegal construction. Though the private persons were warned by the police, there was no response from the land sharks.
A petition was also sent to the tehasildar and the collector last year, but so far the Hyderabad district administration has not responded, they claimed.
Responding to their complaint, collector Rizvi enquired about the issue with the Shaikpet tehasildar and assured that he would write to the GHMC commissioner to enquire into the matter.
Suresh Das from Petla Burz, in his petition, informed the collector that his family had donated five-acre land to Ram Mandir a few years ago. However, the authorities were showing five acre land as 1,318 square yards in the Town Survey Land Records (TSLR). He requested the collector to rectify the TSLR. The collector asked the survey land records authorities to inquire into the issue and set the record straight.
Residents of Tallagadda demanded that the collector shift a plastic unit located near Ramnagar temple as they were facing health problems due to pollution from the unit.
HYDERABAD: At least 40% of Hyderabad’s precious water is wasted everyday and unless the age-old pipelines carrying water to the city homes are replaced immediately the shortage of water could spiral out of control, top water board officials said.
Unbelievable as it may sound, upto 3 million gallons of water from Osmansagar reservoir gets poured out every day due to leakages in the old lines, installed way back in 1935.
“Normally in any country 17% is the admissible rate of water loss. In Hyderabad, however, it is at 40%,” Manohar Babu, director (operations), Water Board told TOI.
At a time when thousands of Hyderabadis spend hours waiting in long queues with buckets in hand to get water or order tankers at high prices to meet their household needs, Water Board officials said big institutions and even hospitals pay little heed to leaking pipes, taps or reservoirs that cause loss of water.
Many areas in the city are reeling under acute water shortage and the Water Board is supplying water once in three days in some areas. There are some areas which are supplied water once in a week, that too through tankers.
“Unless people realise the importance of the most precious substance on earth and take steps, it will probably only get worse. We must all wake up and save water,” Babu said.
About four years ago, the board had come up with a proposal for relaying old pipelines in the city, costing Rs 1,200 crore, but this all important proposal was shelved due to paucity of funds, while enviromnetalists across the city have cried hoarse on diminishing water levels in the city.
Currently, the city is getting water from Singur, Nagarjunasagar, Himayatsagar and Osmansagar, where levels have all gone down to more than worrying levels. Both Himayatsagar and Osmansagar are drying up, adding to the city’s water woes.
As against the capacity to supply 340 million gallons of water per day, the Water Board is supplying just 320 million gallons now.
“The city’s total requirement is 460 million gallons per day including commercial sector. We are already falling short of 80 million gallons per day as our installed capacity is only 340 million gallons,” said Babu.
“We need to improve our installed capacity to meet the growing demand. By August 2014, another 90 million gallons of water would be added to the city’s total supply from Krishna Phase III,” he added, saying that the prevailing water scarcity is due to drying up of bore wells.
Experts, however, said the city’s daily demand is around 700 million gallons per day and not 460 million gallons as claimed by Water Board.
“The city has grown exponentially and Water Board is not catering to the water needs of many of these areas. People here are mostly depending on ground water,” said D Narasimha Reddy, convener, Joint Action for Water.
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