Civil society group finds fault with land allocation to metro rail project
Citizens for Better Public Transport in Hyderabad (CBPTH), a coalition of civil society organisations, on Thursday lashed out at the Hyderabad Metro Rail alleging blatant violation of the concession agreement in granting acres of excess lands to the metro rail concessionaire Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd.
The activists alleged that out of the present 71.5 acres of land held by L&T Metro, as much as 59.39 acres were given away by issuance of two different GOs, and was not part of the Concession Agreement signed on September 4, 2010.
“It is a great land robbery. Even when 20 percent of the metro works were not completed, 71.39 acres of prime lands worth crores of rupees have already been allocated in excess of what is mentioned in the Agreement,” Dr C Ramachandraiah, social scientist and convenor, CBPTH told media persons.
Comparing GO Ms No 152, Revenue (Assignment-III) Department, dated 22 March 2013, where the government of Andhra Pradesh assigned lands of several departments to the Municipal Administration & Urban Development (MAUD) Department so as to hand over the same to the Hyderabad Metro Rail project which in turn were transferred to the L&T, Ramachandraiah pointed out that about 17 acres, 10.25 and 8 acres were given away from HMDA, R&B and GHMC respectively.
“By the GO Ms No 123 dated 28 August 2012 of Industries and Commerce (Inf) Department, 15 acres of land in Raidurg village, Serilingampally mandal has been allocated to the HMR. The length of the metro corridor 3 has been extended from Shilparamam to Raidurg to take these lands,” he pointed out.
According to him, both the departments which issued the GOs and the chief secretary who heads the special task force were to be held responsible.
He further questioned how the HMR got the global award for best design and stated that the designs for metro stations at Begumpet railway station and Maithrivanam (where two corridors intersect) etc. are not even ready though piers are being raised in those areas.
They demanded that the chief secretary PK Mohanty, who is heading the Special Task Force on Hyderabad Metro Rail project should intervene and rescind the GOs mentioned above allocating excess lands in violation of the Agreement.
The lands should be reverted to their former departments. The designs of all the metro stations should be displayed on the websites of the HMR and L&T.
S Jeevan Kumar, president, Human Rights Forum; B Ramakrishna Raju, convenor, National Alliance of Peoples Movements-Andhra Pradesh; OM Debara, general secretary, Forum for Better Hyderabad were present.