Builder grabbed our land, claim LBS Nagar dwellers

In a petition, they alleged that the builder, NDL Infratech Pvt Ltd, was claiming ownership of three acres of land

HYDERABAD: Slum dwellers from Lal Bahadur Shastri Nagar in Begumpet have been waging a relentless fight against a city builder, who, they allege, encroached their land with the backing of revenue and civic officials.

In a petition filed with Medchal-Malkajgiri district collector Dr S. Harish, they alleged that the builder, NDL Infratech Pvt Ltd, was claiming ownership of three acres of land on which they came up with ‘Palmgrove’, a gated residential project. However, one acre of the land in its possession is a slum that was built in 1993.

The petitioners, Jana Chaitanya Abhivrudhi Sangham, urged the collector to implement High Court directions for conducting a proper survey and demarcate the land situated in Sy No. 194/1 besides stopping the builder from proceeding with the construction. Inquiries by this correspondent revealed that the State government allotted three acres to develop a slum. Construction work began on two acres and vadderas (traditional stone-cutters) used the third acre for their activity.

“Every revenue record shows that the government allotted three acres to LBS nagar and they have been in possession of the entire area, that is until the builder encroached it sometime back,” said senior Congress leader Marri Sashidhar Reddy, who earlier served as MLA of the area. Reddy has been fighting for their cause for the past few years. Based on the complaints, the revenue divisional officer, Chevella, submitted a report twice in 2016 stating that there was a clear encroachment of quarry land, he said.

Meanwhile, in another case pertaining to the same land filed by one Suhasini, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has kept in abeyance the building permission granted to NDL. Dealing with the case, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to take up a survey to settle the issue. The petitioners allege that revenue and civic authorities colluded with the builder and delayed the re-survey.

“In the survey’s first round none of the neighbours, including the slum dwellers, were issued notices. Notices were issued for the second survey but the final report has been kept under wraps,” the sangham complained. After several months and after invoking the RTI Act, they obtained a copy of the survey report which, to their shock and dismay, was fraudulent and full of errors.

While the authorities ignored serving the survey report to all the stakeholders, they were in a great hurry in revoking the abeyance order and allowing the builder to go ahead with construction. All that the petitioners secured from the builder was an undertaking that he would abide by any orders from the court or authorities.

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