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Officials helpless to raze illegal constructions

Officials helpless to raze illegal constructions
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At a time when constructions are taking place at a frenetic pace in Rajendranagar circle, the town planning wing is beset with shortage of staff and essential equipment. As such, it feels its hands are tied to effectively crack down on unauthorised structures.

Rajendranagar: At a time when constructions are taking place at a frenetic pace in Rajendranagar circle, the town planning wing is beset with shortage of staff and essential equipment. As such, it feels its hands are tied to effectively crack down on unauthorised structures.

Due to soaring land prices, encroachments and unauthorised constructions are mushrooming in various areas, especially around water bodies. However, the officials express helplessness. "We are helpless even as unauthorised constructions and encroachments on the water bodies as well as main thoroughfares are increasing day by day. We are short of staff as well as equipment to act tough against these activities," said an official on condition of anonymity.

Recently, town planning officer and assistant city planner, along with two subordinate staff members, were seen removing encroachments barehanded near pillar no. 161 in the absence of proper equipment. Officials are yet to act on their plea for men and machines.

Rajendranagar circle consists of five wards i.e., Sulaiman nagar, Rajendranagar, Attapur, Shastripuram and Mailardevpally. During the last few years the construction activities in these areas picked up the pace after the city area reached saturation level.

"Seizing the opportunity of no proper supervision from any department, people here have started making houses of different sizes and different heights. Fearing backlash and political pressure against any sort of regulatory activities, the town planning officials try to look the other way," said Anil from Shivrampally.

The present situation is so dire that GHMC is not able to protect its own park spreads over 1000 Sq.yards near Malka Cheruvu in Hyderguda. It was encroached only a few months ago and the authorities are now running here and there to reclaim the land even after lodging a complaint with the police," said Jitender, a social activist of the area.

He observed that it would be better if the government issued an order, making the officials concerned accountable for illegal constructions during their tenure. Only this way the situation may improve."

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Kumar said a requisition letter seeking necessary equipment as well as required number of staff was sent to the Zonal Commissioner earlier but was returned with a reply that no sufficient funds were available to work out the proposal.

"Around Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 per month is required to maintain the machinery and for remuneration to the staff. Now, again we are planning to push the same proposal before our new Zonal Commissioner Ashok Samrat with a hope that this time our request would be honored," he added.

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