HYDERABAD: Despite repeated orders of Telangana High Court, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has failed in removing encroachments over city water bodies, including River Musi, city lakes and nalas.
The failure of civic body has resulted in thousands of illegal structures including cattle sheds, multiple-storey buildings and mechanic sheds coming up on buffer zones of water bodies.
Revenue department has estimated that there are 6,218 encroachments on just the River Musi along its 57 kilometres of length in three districts of Hyderabad, Rangareddy and Medchal-Malkajgiri. These encroachments have been classified into permanent and temporary structures. They had been the primary reason for floods in several areas of the city and its environs during last rainy season.
GHMC authorities claim that only after the revenue department surveys and identifies these structures, can the corporation remove or demolish the encroachments.
Expressing concern over failure of authorities in checking illegal construction in buffer zones of water bodies including Musi River, Telangana High Court had instructed authorities to file an action taken report on April 3. The failure of authorities to contain illegal constructions would compel one to think they are hand-in-glove with persons who are raising such illegal structures, the High Court bench observed. It expressed surprise that authorities had failed to control unauthorised constructions despite having infrastructure and paraphernalia to do so.
However, despite multiple directions from the High Court, nodal agencies, including GHMC, revenue department and Musi Riverfront Development Corporation Limited (MRDCL) have failed in curtailing the growing encroachments along the Musi and other water bodies.
Highly placed sources say despite removing encroachments on city water bodies, they reappear as a few officials are hand-in-glove with politicians in the area who have been encouraging these illegal structures. One reason could be government asking authorities to pay compensation before removing long-standing encroachments, since that would displace several families eking out a livelihood at the spot. There is an opinion that illegal structures are a ruse for officials and politicians to claim compensation in collusion with encroachers.
When asked about the subject, a senior official, requesting anonymity, said political leaders cutting across the party lines have been hindering their anti-encroachment programme. He said the issue has been taken to the notice of government, whose decision is awaited....