VIJAYAWADA: Krishna district revenue officials on Friday seized 5.10 acres land, worth over 100 crores (market value) near Madhuranagar railway station in the city, stating that the property was under the illegal possession of former AP Planning Board vice-chairman Cherukuri Kutumba Rao’s family. According to the officials, Kutumba Rao’s family claimed the ownership in 2018 and reportedly collected 25 lakh from the railway department towards land lease.
District joint collector (JC) Madhavi Latha, who inspected the land along with with the tahsildar and other officials around 2 pm on Friday, instructed them to demolish the compound wall and the shed built on the land. Following her orders, officials swung into action and razed down the shed and erected signboards proclaiming the land as belonging to State government. An inquiry conducted into the ownership of the property following a complaint lodged with district collector AMd Imtiaz during a recent Spandana programme reportedly revealed that the land was under illegal possession.
However, Kutumba Rao said that the land rightfully belonged to him. The dispute over the crores of worth property is several decades old. According to revenue officials, Kutumba Rao’s family gave 5.10 acres to the railways so that they would not lose the ownership of the property under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act (1976).
On March 5, 1977, the Vijayawada railway divisional superintendent had written a letter to the revenue department seeking land on the city outskirts for the construction of staff quarters, electrical training school and other railway-related infrastructure. Two years later, on November 5, 1979, the revenue department had given its nod to land acquisition from the farmers of Machavaram, which was a village at that time, and give it to the railway department. The railways had agreed to compensate the owners.