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Talk of MRDCL survey leaves residents on Musi banks panic stricken

Hyderabad: With the latest markings deep inside Bastis, those who are living on the banks of Musi river for decades, are now panic stricken.

Reason for their fear are the reports that the Musi River Front Development Corporation Limited (MRDCL) is seriously considering a fresh survey and may soon pull down the houses. If that happens, thousands of families would be affected on more than 2-km stretch from Golnaka Bridge to Chaderghat, they say.

This was not the first time that residents are strongly reacting to a survey, but the way huge buildings inside the Secretariat complex were brought to the ground by the current administration left the Basti people high and dry this time.

"As the officials are surveying the area, there is panic among the Basti residents. People's representatives failed to address the concerns of the public. Officials are not disclosing the project designs and there is no clarity on the impact it would cause to the poor Basti residents.

This lack of information and communication is resulting in spreading of rumours in the slums that half of the houses will be demolished. In Malakpet area, Wahed Nagar, Musa Nagar, New Shankar Nagar, Vinayak Veedhi and Kamal Nagar, marking was done indicating the completion of the survey.

The officials should have discussed about the project with all stakeholders and information is shared with the people who are going to be affected by the designs. Public representatives should hold meetings to mitigate panic," says Kouser Sultana, a resident of Musa Nagar whose house comes within the marked area.

MRDCL chairman D Sudheer Reddy, reportedly gave the green signal to the project of four-lane road on both sides of Musi river, with budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore whose works already began at Langar Houz in June. But none of the residents are aware of the proposal. They are now asking the local MLAs and Corporators to intervene in the matter, before it's too late.

Local people say, "Designs and DPRs are not disclosed to the people here who are already facing the heat of COVID-19. Since 1997, some Rs 900 crore was spent on different projects, including Rs 360 crore on rubber dam.

The latest project would also end up in a huge scam. We are not against development, but the government should answer the question of rehabilitation of thousands of families, in case their houses are demolished," said Syed Bilal, a resident of Shankar Nagar area.

Bilal pointed out that at least 1,000 houses of different kinds from RCC to simple shanties in Wahed Nagar, Shankar Nagar and New Shankar Nagar, Vinayak veedhi, Kamala Nagar and Teegalguda have come within the marked zone, by the revenue officials of Chikkadpally and Himayathnagar.

Meanwhile, CHATRI's (Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights) Md Ashfaq and Hyderabad Basti People's Federation's Sanjeev demanded that till the clarity is given on the designs, survey must be put on hold.

"We hope that public representatives will hold public meetings in the bastis to discuss the project details. We demand that Basti residents must be included in confirming the design of the project," they said.

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