Green spaces only on paper

Layouts include mandatory ‘lung spaces’ which are encroached upon after approval

Hyderabad: The layout regularisation scheme, which has proved to be a money-spinner for the government, seems to be taken seriously only from the revenue point of view, and not for implementation of layout rules and conditions. Parks, green-belt areas and amenities the lung spaces that are mandatory and demarcated during layout approvals and while selling plots in colonies or real estate ventures are vanishing in the twin cities.

Even the new layouts that are approved and regularised by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, initially demarcate space for parks as per the norms, but they later disappear with builders converting them into plots. As per norms, 10 per cent of the total layout area should be allocated for parks, green belt and amenities. However, the layout regularisation is confined to approvals only. The implementation and violation of conditions are not even considered at further stages like registration of plots, issuing permission for construction of structures, and utility supplies like power and water.

A senior GHMC official, city planning wing, said, “The layout approval is done in two steps. First, a tentative approval is given to the applicant’s layout and then a final approval is given after an examination of allocation of 10 per cent land space to the planned area parks, green belt and amenities, road area etc.”

More than 300 families in Rajendra Reddynagar, Chandanagar, Serilingampally are victims as parks and green belt spaces have been converted into plots through fake plot numbers and construction has been taken up with municipal permission.

Rajender Reddynagar Welfare Society president, Y. Janga Reddy said, “Rajender Reddynagar Colony was developed over 19 acre 20 guntas. As per the draft layout from HUDA with permit number L3017|MP2/HUDA/90, dated December 8, 1991, the property consisted of 227 plots of different sizes. As per the layout, parks, amenities and green belt areas were earmarked as — Park-1: 4938.30 sq. yards, Park- 2: 1,801 sq. yards, Green Belt: 2,416.33 sq. yards, Amenities: 1,233.80 sq. yards. However, four different persons have grabbed the allocated spaces and taken up constructions.”

He added, “The amenities, park, and green belt areas, were grabbed by creating fake plot number 228 to 261. Some were sold and constructions have come up. In spite of complaints made by the local colony association, no action has been taken till date.” This is just one of the several cases in the twin cities, which came to light only when the residents complained.

No checks, illegal plots regularised

Registration of plots that have come up in the park spaces or green-belts is carried out easily as the layout documents are not checked for verification. A sub-registrar of the Punjagutta zone, said, “We cannot verify the park or green space for every transaction. There is no clause in the Registration Act to seek no objection certificate from the civic bodies.”

An official of city planning department said, “We are working on bringing a clause in the Registration Act to make the NOC mandatory from the layout approving body to prevent such encroachments.”

Meanwhile Most avoid final approval

There has been an increase in the number of encroachments in the areas demarcated for parks and green-belts due to flaws in the municipal acts and authorities permitting constructions. While admitting that there are cases of parks being encroached due to flaws in the procedures, a higher official of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation city planning wing, said, “Though we have records of open spaces (parks, green belts) in the layout, the documents to check whether a particular plot is in the park or other green space area are not readily available.”

He added, “Initially, a tentative approval for a new layout application is given and then the final approval of layout is given after checking. But, many do not turn up for the final approval. Some take up illegal construction after the final approval of the layout following an examination of earmarked spaces. The violations are mainly taking place due to misrepresentation by the applicants and sometimes due to the overlapping of green spaces of two different layouts adjacent to each other.”

Permission for construction of a house is given on the basis of the sale deed of the plot and the tentative layout by charging some extra amount. “We do give building permission based on the tentative layout after charging a certain fee, that is usually charged before giving the final approval,” added the official.

A similar encroachment came up in Rock Town, Dilshuknagar, where more than two houses were constructed in the space earmarked for a park. “We demolished those structures and wrote to the registration department to cancel the sale deed of those plots,” said the official.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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