Hyderabad: The vigilance and enforcement (V&E) department’s years of investigation of the alleged land scam in the erstwhile AP Secretariat Mutually Aided Co-operative Housing Society, has gone down the drain.
The V&E has detected serious irregularities in land allotment. Its final report recommended cancellation of the allotment of land. But the report has been put aside by the state government’s cooperation department.
The reply to a Right to Information query, issued on August 2, 2019, stated that, ‘The general body unanimously resolved to reject the recommendations of the V&E report subject to verification of such allotments if any done by the previous managing committee. However the issue must be examined by verifying the correctness of allotment and cancel land which were made against the bylaws.”
There were 11 service associations in the erstwhile AP Secretariat, representing the different categories of employees. In 2002, the co-ordination committee of these associations took a decision to form a society for housing under the Mutually Aided Co-operative Housing Society Act 1995.
About 2,956 persons enrolled as members and requested the then AP government to allot the land. A large parcel of land was given in Gopan-napally, Gachibowli, Nekampur and Jawahar-nagar, amounting to 976 acres. These lands are now in highly desirable locations where prices are high. Based on a complaint, the government ordered an enquiry by the V&E department.
The investigation found that the land allotment was against the rules and by-laws of the society, that officers, having houses in some other societies, were allotted plots here and work to develop the plots was given to ex-office bearers.
The V&E submitted its recommendation to cancel the allotted lands and for the government to take it back, freeze the accounts of the society and ensure that no future expenditure is booked out of the money collected. Another recommendation was to constitute a committee to identify the grave irregularities that were committed.
Forum for Good Govern-ance secretary Padman-abha Reddy, who filed the RTI, said, “Asked if the V&E’s recommendation to resume vacant lands at Gopannapally village, Gachibowli, Nekampur and Jawaharnagar village were executed, the RTI response was ‘the general body that meets over the years has unanimously rejected the recommendation of V&E. The body resolved that a new unit of cooperative society (indicating that there was a previous body) should identify such types of wrong allotments and take remedial measures including imposing penality. Vigilance has indicated serious irregularities and government must resume the land but the general body of the mutually aided cooperative society of secretariat rejected the very report, which is strange”.