Hyderabad: The state government has found irregularities in the land acquisition process for Hyderabad Pharma City after investigating complaints that payments for compensation were made to fake landowners.
Inquiries by the revenue department have revealed that Rs 40 lakh was paid as compensation to people who were not owners of the land acquired for the project.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has directed the revenue department to recover the swindled Rs 40 lakh and initiate disciplinary action against the surveyor, revenue inspector and village revenue officer for colluding with the fake landowners to pocket the compensation money.
The government proposes to construct Pharma City on 20,000 acres on the city’s outskirts, in Ranga Reddy district. Around 6,910 acres has been acquired for the first phase of the project, in Kandukuru, Yacharam and Kadthal mandals. The government received complaints that there were irregularities in compensation payment for 400 acres.
There is no uniform policy of acquisition and some lower-rung officials colluded with people claiming to be owners of the land.
The government acquired the lands under GO 123, GO 125 and GO 45, under which different amounts of compensation were paid. The fraudsters exploited this to their advantage.
It was decided to give compensation of Rs 12.50 lakh per acre to owners who had a clear land title, Rs 8 lakh for assignees who are doing agriculture and Rs 7.70 lakh per acre to farmers who are in possession of government land but have been engaged in agriculture for several years.
The revenue department has no proper records of assigned lands and encroached lands. Officials certified some people to be in possession of assigned lands and government lands, and engaged in agriculture, even though the land was lying vacant.
Such irregularities were detected in Survey Nos. 184, 213, 131 etc, where Rs 40 lakh had been claimed in compensation. Official sources in the revenue department said that the government will recover the Rs 40 crore from the fraudsters by invoking the Revenue Recovery Act.