Finding the lacunae in the government's orders, the mandal revenue office sold agricultural lands by dividing them into small chunks ranging from one gunta to three guntas. (file photo)
Hyderabad: Mandal revenue offices have become the epicentre of all GO 111 violations. Despite the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) wing curtailing registration of farmlands that are less than 20 guntas, revenue authorities have been registering them and uploading them in the Dharani portal.
According to highly placed sources, the government is succumbing to the pressure mounted by real estate developers and public representatives of 84 villages which fall in the purview of GO 111. In March 2017 came the news leak that the government would revoke order prohibiting construction in and around Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes. This speculation gained ground after the announcement of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao during his election campaign in December 2018 in Chevella.
He promised protesters in the catchment areas of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar that GO 111 would be scrapped once the TRS returns to power. Rao said that GO 111 had no relevance as the two reservoirs were no longer the primary drinking water sources for the city, since the government is compensating that with Krishna and Godavari water.
Meanwhile, post the 2018 elections, many encroachments have come up in Moinabad, Shamshabad, Shabad, Kothur, Rajendranagar, Shankarpally and Chevella mandals. In October 2019, the government introduced the layout regularisation scheme for the 68 newly-formed municipalities. The order clearly stated that all unauthorised layouts or plots under the GO 111 would not be regularised and restriction on development activity and layouts will continue. It assured that registration could be done for layouts or plots sold by registered sale deed before March 30, 2018.
However, this has given rise to over 10,000 encroachments. Finding the lacunae in the government's orders, the mandal revenue office sold agricultural lands by dividing them into small chunks ranging from one gunta to three guntas.
In July 2021, special chief secretary and MA&UD principal secretary issued orders asking IG Stamps and Registrations to issue necessary instructions to all the registering authorities not to allow registration of farm plots if its area was less than 2,000 square metres (20 guntas) and insist on an approved layout copy if the farm plot abuts a new road. Through a memo, he said that the Telangana Municipalities Act-2019 and Telangana Panchayat Raj Act-2018 provide safeguards against registration of unapproved plots, sub-divisions, buildings and structures.
In view of these provisions, the IG Stamps and Registrations issued orders prohibiting registration of plots in unauthorised layouts. This step has yielded the desired results and helped curb unauthorised layouts. However, he said, it has come to the notice of the state government that some land owners or layout developers were still continuing with development of unauthorized layouts in the name of farm lands and executing sale deeds as farm plots of two guntas to three guntas, which had to be curtailed. He said the IG Registrations was requested to issue necessary instructions to all relevant authorities not to allow registration of farm plots if its area was less than 2,000 square metres.
Surprisingly, following the Chief Minister’s announcement to revoke GO 111, registration of farm plots have increased alarmingly and the data pertaining to it is readily available in the Dharani portal. A top official from the state government, requesting anonymity, said that the recent announcement has given wings to MROs for indulging in malpractices. He said that though this was brought to the notice of the government, they remained silent. The official said that the developers have already hiked land prices.
"The land prices in villages of Shankarpally and Moinabad mandals have increased by 30 per cent. The per gunta land prices in these villages are currently anywhere between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, he added. The official also said as per the previous directions of the apex court, there are less chances for scrapping of GO 111.