HYDERABAD: A public interest litigation was filed in the Hyderabad High Court challenging the State government’s decision to construct the Telangana Kala Bharathi at the NTR stadium near the Indira Park in the city.
The petitioner, Indira Park Walkers’ Association, represented by its president Dr A Sudhakar Rao Yadav, submitted that the Telangana government’s order (vide GO Ms No.73) dated April 23, directing the GHMC to handover the stadium to the Department of Culture for constructing the Kala Bharathi was is in violation of Section 148(2) and (3) of the GHMC Act, 1955 besides being contrary to the Acquisition and Disposal of Properties Rules guiding the GHMC functioning. The petitioner said the decision would deprive thousands of children of a good sports facility and thousands of citizens of a good walking and breathing space.
The association alone has about 5,600 members who come to the Indira Park regularly and also use the NTR stadium for walking, jogging, meditation, yoga etc. The decision was taken without giving thought to repercussions, the petitioner said.
It further submitted that the NTR stadium being in the midst of lower middle class colonies has been catering to the needs of children of the residents. There are seven primary and government high schools around this stadium and the students have no play ground except the stadium.
More over, the NTR stadium is also used for religious activities and exhibitions such as cotton mela, book exhibition, mass prayers etc. It is also used by Muslims for offering Namaz on Id-ul-Fitr day, it pointed out.
‘GHMC exceeded its brief’
The petitioner pointed out that Section 148 of the GHMC Act deals with disposal of property and interest of the corporation. “But it is confined only to movable property and not to immovable properties like land. With the sanction of the Standing Committee, the GHMC Commissioner may grant lease of immovable property for a period not exceeding 3 years. Therefore, the GHMC has no right to handover its property to the govt. When there is no standing committee or elected body, the special officer decided to handover the stadium to the department of culture. This is beyond his powers,” the petitioner argued.