Hyderabad: Authorities had fined actor Balakrishna, whose movie Legend has opened to grand success, Rs 10,000 for drilling a borewell at his residence in Jubilee Hills without obtaining permission.
On information from neighbours and local residents, Shaikpet tahsildar Venkat Reddy went to the actor’s residence at Jubilee Hills and levied the fine. The incident occurred two days ago and the fine was levied on Friday.
As per the Water, Air, Land, Tree Act (WALTA), seeking permission from revenue authorities to sink a borewell is mandatory.Interestingly, the WALTA was prepared and implemented when Balakrishna’s brother-in-law, Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu, was the chief minister. Balakrishna’s daughter is also married to Mr Naidu’s son, Lokesh.
When contacted, Shaikpet tahsildar Mr Reddy said, “We received complaints from local residents that a borewell was being dug without permission from the authorities. We went there and found that the drilling was almost complete. We seized the drilling machine and also sealed the borewell, besides levying a fine of Rs 10,000. Later, a person claiming to be the personal assistant of Balakrishna came and gave a cheque for Rs 10,000.”
The revenue authorities, however, have decided to re-open the borewell after an application is submitted to them seeking permission.
“The people who came on behalf of Balakrishna said they would be applying for permission shortly,” added Mr Reddy.
Though the WALTA came into effect over 10 years ago, not many apply for permission and indiscriminate drilling of borewells continue unabated in the city. Even several government departments and public utilities like the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation sink borewells in parks and playgrounds without seeking the approval of the revenue authorities.