Hyderabad: The Telangana State Vigilance and Enforcement department has recommended disciplinary action against Warangal revenue divisional officer, Venkata Madhava Rao, and former tahsildar of Hanamkonda, T Raj Kumar, and four other revenue officials for allegedly regularising land worth Rs 16 crore for just Rs 33 lakh in violation of Government Order 59.
The GO pertains to the regularisation and transfer of rights on lands encroachments of unobjectionable government land and surplus land under the Urban Land Ceiling to the people on payment basis. The vigilance department has alleged that landless farmers who were originally assigned the land objected to around 16.2 acres of land in survey number 509 in Mamnoor in Hanam-konda and Bollikunta mandals which was then allotted to Viswambara Educa-tional Society that runs Vagdhevi Educational Institutions.
Sources in the state government confirmed receiving the report from the vigilance department. Sources claim that the land was assigned to poor farmers in 1975, but due to drought they did not cultivate it and later gave it on lease to brick kiln workers. After 2000, without the knowledge of the farmers, the land was allegedly sold by the brick kiln owners to Viswambara Educational Society. In 2009, the farmers made a complaint to the collector. The government started proceedings to take back the land and a case was filed against both the farmers and the occupier.
In 2014, the government issued GO 59 for regularisation of lands. As per the guidelines, this can be done in the public interest. Despite objections, the revenue divisional officer and the mandal revenue officer alienated sold the land to one Ms Vani, wife of Devender Reddy of Viswa-mbara Educational Society without the knowledge of the collector and other higher officials. As per the guidelines, regularisation of land of above 500 sq yards shall be brought to the notice of the joint collector and has to go to the CCLA and principal secretary, revenue. This process has been bypassed, the sources said.