Lung spaces being encroached in Hyderabad

Squatters approach court when asked to vacate.

Hyderabad: Private bodies have encroached upon spaces marked for parks at 29 locations at a time when the city is falling short of lung spaces.

The squatters have built temples, chillas, shops, dairy farms, toilets, offices, compound walls and even a political party office. Also, 100 huts have come up on such land in order to encroach it.

At Kakatiya Colony in Habsiguda, squatters have constructed a temple, seven shops and a dairy. Surprisingly, a TRS party leader encroached upon space in Khairatabad and constructed a party office there. GHMC officials said the squatters approached court when they tried to demolish the encroachments.

Senior corporation officials said if these park spaces are protected, they can accommodate over five lakh saplings in the city’s bylanes.

These spaces can also serve as spaces for jogging and walking, instead of one having to go to playgrounds or prime parks like KBR and Sanjeevaiah.
Sources said town planning officials, in cahoots with local leaders, have encroached upon park spaces in all 30 circles of the city.

If layout plans are implemented in accordance with GHMC data, over 100 acres of park land can be recovered from squatters.

On the flip side, officials claimed the squatters are either approaching courts or bringing them under tremendous political pressure.

A senior GHMC official said the corporation has already demolished encroachments in Hayathnagar and issued notices to the remaining.

He said a few squatters in LB Nagar and Goshamahal, claiming ownership over encroached land, have approached courts. The constructions will be demolished as soon as the court rules in GHMC’s favour, he said.

The official said the corporation will immediately construct a compound wall and plant saplings to enhance much-needed lung spaces in the city.

The civic body will also seek the help of residents and local authorities to protect open spaces. The official made it clear that if park spaces are encroached upon again, the corporation will file criminal cases against squatters.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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