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St Mary’s Road biz owners set to lose property again

Comments Off on St Mary’s Road biz owners set to lose property again   |   February 19, 2014    10:33am   |Contributed by manoja

HYDERABAD: Forcible land acquisition has returned to haunt property owners on St Mary’s Road in Secunderabad, who are likely to face the bulldozers for the second time in less than eight years. Incidentally, a sweet shop owner had committed suicide after the lost his only means of livelihood in the first round of acquisition.

The arterial road from Secunderabad railway station to Clock Tower was expanded in 2005 by acquiring the properties from 70 owners so that it could be widened from 60 feet to 120 feet. This time, the acquisition is because the metro rail corridor II (JBS-Falaknuma) passes through this road. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has already begun serving notices to the property owners even as the latter are protesting the forcible acquisition.

The owners said when the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) proposed to widen the road in 2003, nearly 70 properties, including 40 opposite Manohar theatre, were set to be affected. Since many small property owners, especially the 40 located between the main road and the parallel Turner’s street, were set to lose their livelihood, they agitated for over a year demanding reducing the proposed width of the road. Finally, the civic body reduced the width to 100 feet, leaving small portions for the owners to run their businesses.

Now, the land acquisition wing of the Hyderabad Metro Rail has slapped notices to acquire the properties, including those belonging to the endowments department. “The town planning wing is acquiring properties only on one side of the road i.e. the stretch opposite Manohar theatre. But it is leaving the big properties on the other side of the road and on Turner’s street untouched. A famous hotel near the railway station, which was in the land acquisition proposal in 2005, still remains untouchedWhatever land was left in the previous acquisition is being taken over now,” St Mary’s Road and Regimenal Bazaar Residential Shop Owners’ Association vice-president, Anand Kumar Dhull, told TOI.

The owners alleged that the corporation has cheated them by renewing the road development plan to 120 feet. “Apart from losing precious land in the earlier acquisition, we had spent huge amounts in 2006 for renovation and reconstruction. Some owners have asked for rehabilitation as they may lose their entire shop, but that is not being considered by the authorities,” Perigrine Emanuel, treasurer of the association and owner of the famous Emanuel Studio, said.

When contacted, assistant city planner (Secunderabad), G Ramchander, said the road would be widened for the second time as per the master plan, which specifies it to be 120 feet. He said the widening was not completed the last time on the request of the property owners. “Now, the widening is imminent for the metro rail project. It is not correct to state that properties are being acquired only on one side. The properties (Manohar theatre lane) were also acquired and they reconstructed leaving the required space,” he said.


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