Covid as cover, land grab in progress in many villages

Muslims said the authorities have allotted two acres of the land for the construction of an Idgah and held prayers there

KADAPA: Encroachments on government lands are increasing as government officials are busy with Corona duties. Land grabs, especially in Rajampet revenue division where it had temporarily stopped for a while, have resumed aggressively in the last two months.

Rajampet sub-collector Ketan Garg, the young IAS officer who has been a nightmare to government land grabbers, is away in Kadapa for the past two months as part of his Covid duties. He was unable to focus fully on revenue activities as he functioned as the nodal officer for oxygen supply to Covid hospitals. Land-grabbers took advantage of this situation.

The railway-linked Kodur town is close to Tirupati and the lands of this area are precious. Some 17.54 acres of government rivulet land existed in Mysuravaripalle village, under Survey number 2085. For the past few years, locals had been urging the authorities to allocate it to the homeless.

This land is currently worth about a crore per acre. Revenue officials have been saying that the places in rivulet lands could not be handed over to anyone as per the Supreme Court orders.

However, recently, some local Muslims said the authorities have allotted two acres of the land for the construction of an Idgah. Prayers were also held there a few days ago.

It is rumored that five acres out of the 17.54 acres have been allotted for the construction of Idgah.

Following this, some local leaders focused attention on the rest of the land. They flattened the place. Lands belonging to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (APIIC) also existed alongside. Local leaders are making attempts to occupy the land, claiming that this land too belonged to APIIC and was allotted to them.

The villagers of Mysurivaripalle have requested the government that the entire land be surveyed and the encroachments removed. When Deccan Chronicle mentioned this to Railway Koduru tehsildar J Sirisha, it was clarified that these 17.54 acres belonged to the government and this had not been allotted to anyone.

She explained that a sign board had also been put up there, stating that the land belonged to the government.

Meanwhile, a leader from Obulavaripalle Mandal is reportedly trying to capture about 25 to 30 acres of government land in Anantasamudram village in Pullampeta mandal. The government land is in survey numbers 46, 130, 133, 443, 437, 1429 belonging to Anantasamudram revenue village.

This leader is having some ancestral property adjacent to this land. About 25 to 30 acres of adjoining government land has been flattened with excavators and made cultivable as part of the encroachment process.

In addition, fencing was done for the entire land. Bore wells are being dug and power supply has been obtained.

The Dasaripalle dalits and Arundhatiwada residents have been urging local representatives and officials since 2002 to allot the land to them for agriculture. Now they have lodged a complaint with the Rajampet sub-collector.

When the Deccan Chronicle spoke to Rajampet sub-collector Ketan Garg about the matter, he explained that he was on Covid duty for the past two months. He is performing his duties from an office in Rajampet since Monday, but “will not also look into issues of government land grabs.”

He said details of the two encroachments would be brought to the notice of the concerned tehsildars and appropriate action would follow.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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