Osmania University losing crores on ridiculous renting

Large tracts of land given out for paltry amounts.

Hyderabad: Pay a rent of just one rupee for an acre of land in Tarnaka, Bagh amberpet, Ramanthapur and surrounding areas? Sounds bizarre, but that is what Osmania University is getting as rent for large tracts of land it has leased out to various organisations, institutions and departments for several decades.

Land and rental rates are touching the sky in core areas of the city but Osmania University has not derived any benefit.

And it’s not as if the university does not need money; in fact it is grappling with a funds shortage that has forced it to look to the State and Central governments for assistance for its centenary celebrations.

Hyderabad Public School, National Institute of Nutrition, English and Foreign Languages University, CESS-Begumpet, Forensic Laboratory, Homoeopathic College, Institute of Public Enterprise are some of the beneficiaries of this big favour by past governments and varsity administration in the combined state.

The deals were made between 1950 and 1985, mostly for a period of 99 years. Some institutions got 30 to 40 acres of land at that price.

M Padmanabha Reddy, secretary, Forum for Good Governance, said an educational institution established on 40 acres of leased land and making good money but paying Rs 40 as rent for the whole year would be unacceptable.

Former vice-chancellor T Tirupathi Rao said attempts were made in the last decade to set right these anomalies, but in vain.

“During my tenure (2008-11), the electricity department approached the varsity asking us to lease out a few acres of land at nominal rates. We did not agree and as a result, the department agreed to pay one-tenth of the registration value as annual rent according to the government norms,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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