Elected representatives not sparing even NS camp
Encroachments on the premises of Nagarjuna Sagar camp has become order of the day as political leaders irrespective of parties eyed on the prime lands ...
Encroachments on the premises of Nagarjuna Sagar camp has become order of the day as political leaders irrespective of parties eyed on the prime lands in Miryalguda since many years. Though law enforcing agencies directed the authorities to evict the encroachers who are illegally living in the quarters, no one dared to launch demolition and eviction drive due to involvement of the influential people. The Rs 250 crore worth prime land in the heart of the town was occupied by the police, revenue, retired employees and political leaders with active connivance of higher officials. Way back in 1957 the government allocated 81.95 acres of land to construct quarters for the employees of irrigation department during construction of Nagarjuna Sagar dam from 1957-65. Apart from the employees of Irrigation department, businessmen, political leaders and land sharks who got into the quarters through lease agreement, had demolished old structures and constructed new buildings after encroaching lands. It is learnt that a national-level leader has eyed the lands and pressuring officials to turn a blind eye to the encroachments. Some encroachers are even running clubs in the quarters. Out of total 81.95 acres of land, three types of quarters were constructed for the offices of Superintendent Engineer, Executive Engineers and Assistant Engineers, 27 acres of land was earmarked for government purpose. Police station, municipal complex, library, upper primary school, Sports Authority of AP building were constructed. A total of 6.63 acres of land was remained unused. Moreover, encroachers were not paying water tax and electricity bills to the municipality which resulted in burden on the government exchequer. Employees other than irrigation department have also been living in these quarters even after their retirement. Interestingly, encroachers argue that they had a right to claim quarters as they have been paying electricity and water bills for decades. Further, they are making efforts to bring pressure on the government to regularize their illegal structures by hook or crook. For instance, former Miryalguda MLA Repala Srinivas's tenure completed in 2004 but he is still living in the quarters. However, he demolished old building and raised new one. Damaracharla MPP Kethavath Shankar Naik entered quarters in 2009 and illegally staying in it with the help of a senior minister from the district. TDP leaders Bantu Venkateswarlu and Chittibabu constructed new houses flouting norms. Former municipal chairman Garlapati Niranjan Reddy has also been staying in it even after expiry of his term. The encroachments came to light when public interest litigation was filed in High Court and complaints were lodged with Lokayukta. The issue gained importance two weeks ago when Upa Lokayukta issued an arrest warrant to district Superintendent of Police Navin Gulati for not appearing before the institution to report on eviction of encroachers from the camp. However, encroachers engaged in hectic lobbying with ruling party leaders to regularise their illegal structures.