HYDERABAD: The State government on Friday finally decided to regularise encroachments on Gurukul Trust lands, in line with the high court directive, and bringing the curtains down on what had been a bitter, prolonged battle. Interestingly, it also resolved to remove all hoardings and posters, including those of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao — following repeated raps from the high court — across the city in a move that is likely to cause some heartburn in the opposition TDP camp!
The yellow party has been gearing up to hold its annual conclave, Mahanadu, the first in the newly-formed State of Telangana, in the city this month-end and the party cadre would have wanted to adorn the city with massive cut-outs and hoardings of party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Now, that looks highly unlikely.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who held a review meeting with officials on the just-concluded Swachh Hyderabad campaign, said, “There are land encroachments at several places in the city. There are several encroachments on Gurukul Trust lands also and they need to be regularised.’’
The State government had in fact wanted to reclaim encroached trust lands as it felt they were being used for purposes other than those intended. However, some individuals had approached the high court and the legal battle ended with the court directing the government to give alternate lands to the trust and regularise encroached lands in the names of individuals who had constructed houses on them.
Expressing his displeasure over the encroachments in various bastis in the city, KCR observed that houses were built like matchboxes by encroaching upon government lands. “There is no space even to plant a few saplings!’’ he exclaimed but said those encroachments needed to be regularised. On the ubiquitous hoardings and posters across the city, the Chief Minister ordered the officials concerned to “remove all posters from the city walls... including mine and those of any political party. There should not be a single poster on the city walls.”
The city has been plastered with posters of the Chief Minister and a few of his colleagues in the last one month, particularly since April last week when the TRS held its plenary — its first after State formation.