HYDERABAD: Two years after a 3-acre land had been taken away by the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) from three colonies in Mahendra Hills in Secunderabad for construction of a modern park with an investment of Rs 1 crore, work on it is yet to begin. This, in spite of repeated requests from the residents of Trimurthy Colony, Dhanalaxmi Colony and Mahendra Hills Colony to the SCB to start construction at the earliest.
Residents allege that the lackadaisical attitude of SCB authorities is encouraging land sharks to nibble at the precious land. The three colonies, which fall under Ward Number 5, had gifted the 3-acre land to the SCB in January 2016 for development of a park. At present, the open ground, which does not have even a compound wall, has become a construction debris dump yard.
G.Sneha, a resident of Mahendra Hills, said that a park there is a dire need for children and elders. "Bushes have grown, garbage and construction debris is being dumped with no supervision by SCB. The basic purpose of parting with our colony land to SCB has not been met," she rued.
No work has commenced here in the last two years. "We have been approaching the board and have given several representations to the officials and elected members. The board members say there are no funds with the board to take up the work," she said and demanded return of the land to the residents if the SCB cannot develop the park. "We can think of developing the park ourselves if the SCB says it has no funds," she added.
Speaking to Express, SCB vice-president J.Ramakrishna, however, claimed that the board expedited the work on developing a modern park with a mini community hall, walkways, landscaped greenery and play equipment for children. "The first phase of work on compound wall has begun. The land is uneven and hence the decision to fill it with construction debris. The SCB will develop the park and hand it over to the residents," he said.But, when Express visited the site, there were no signs of work taking place.
M.Phanni Kumar, SCB's assistant engineer (planning) told Express that the board had been liberally sanctioning funds for developing parks in open spaces in colonies. "We allocated funds for the development of a park in Mahendra Hills. Various colony associations have been sanctioned parks and community halls in vacant spaces. The SCB has about 100 acres of such gifted land. But, at present, only 90 acres is free from the encroachments," he said, adding that the board would hand over parks to residential colonies after development.