Guntur: A new phenomenon is being witnessed in riverfront villages that are part of the state capital region. While the fields in these villages were earlier open tracts of land, these days, fences dividing them are springing up.
People living in these villages are on tenterhooks. They fear that sooner or later, land grabbers will turn their attention to their property.
Fencing activity has picked up in Mangalagiri and adjacent areas due to the increased value of land.
People who could afford it have purchased plots in Mangalagiri, Navuluru, Kaza, Undavalli, China Kakani and other villages, especially after the capital speculation gained ground. However, most of these landowners left their lands vacant, not even bothering to erect fences demarcating their property.
B. Kishore, a private employee, said that he purchased a house plot several years ago in Navuluru, close to the much hyped Singapore township of VGTM-UDA. Since the township project failed to take off, he left the land vacant, since he could not even sell without losing money.
With the capital decision, the land has turned into a pot of gold. So much so, unscrupulous persons are doing anything and everything to make money, even going to the extent of forging documents. “This fear has prompted people like me to build boundary wa-lls or erect fences to protect our property,” he says.
G. Chiranjeevi, a private employee from Guntur, said that two months ago some brokers had sold a plot on the NH-5 worth ` 2 crore by forging docume-nts with the help revenue employees.
“Such illegalities are increasing after the capital decision. I have an open plot in Kaza and am now constructing boundary walls around it,” Mr Chiranjeevi said.
According to the police department about 500 complaints on encroachments and land-related illegalities have been lodged in the recent past in various police stations under the capital regions.
A revenue official said that several plot owners are applying for encumbr-ance certificates to confi-rm the ownership of plots.
K. Raju, a realtor, said that people who purchased plots are also wary of litigations over the property. He said that nowadays, it is a common sight to see landowners visiting their properties at least once a week.