Hyderabad: The encroachment issue and declaration of biodiversity heritage site at Ameenpur lake on the city outskirts took a new turn with ex-MLA and BJP leader Katasani Bhupal Reddy filing an objection with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. This, after lake protection activists filed a petition in NGT to declare the area as an eco-sensitive zone and prevent further constructions in the buffer zone.
The ex-MLA, in the thick of the controversy, claims he bought hillocks and the land in middle of the lake.
HMDA commissioner T Chiranjeevulu said, “We have fixed boundaries and issued a preliminary notification for Ameenpur lake and called for objections as per procedure before final notification. Rambhupal Reddy and others have filed an objection. The same has been forwarded to Sangareddy collector. We are surveying around 32 tanks and fixing up FTL. The irrigation and revenue departments will fix the FTL after a survey.”
Ameenpur lake has been declared a biodiversity heritage site with the efforts of Telangana state lake protection force which adopted the lake, and it attracts migratory birds in addition to native species.
Lake protection activist Thakur Raj Kumar Singh said, “I filed a petition in NGT to declare the lake as a biodiversity heritage site. The TS government declared it so, after NGT took up the case. Ex-MLA Rambhupal Reddy is claiming possession of the land in between the two water bodies. Soon after declaration of the site as a heritage site, he cut the rocks and put white markings. He is also trying to construct buildings."
“I have presented the irrigation department’s buffer zone drawing before the NGT. As per rules, no construction is allowed in 30 metres of the buffer zone. The case is coming up at NGT next week. The TS biodiversity board has filed an affidavit in NGT, stating 92 acres of the Shikam water body and 170 acres of patta land in buffer zone FTL, as biodiversity heritage site.”
IPS official Tejdeep Kaur Menon said, "The TS government which declared it as a biodiversity heritage site said it will not only protect the lake but also the surrounding areas. There is only one lake and encroachers are trying to block the feeder channels and the land in between. SPF has been working hard to protect the lake."
Rambhupal Reddy denied any encroachment. He said, “I bought the land from villagers Kata Darshan Goud, Krishna Goud and others as per rules. I have 15 plots and around 22 acres of land of my own and 45 acres of land as part of a development agreement that includes hillocks as well as plain land. The government has fixed the FTL of the lake in 2008 and issued orders. In 1991, HMDA has approved the residential layout. NS Siva Reddy of Vishnu Priya took 100 acres and did 45 acres of layout and got approval. I have bought the rest.”
“I have filed my objection with the HMD commissioner against the biodiversity site. We have allowed villagers lay a road. All revenue records show that it is patta land. In 2015, the collector issued the NOC to us,” he claimed....