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Land Acquisition for Irrigation Projects in Telangana Mired in Corruption

Report on Palamur-Rangareddy LI Scheme confirms large-scale irregularities to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore

Published: 11th February 2016 05:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2016 12:33 PM   |  A+A-

MAHBUBNAGAR:  At a time when the government is giving an impetus to irrigation sector in a bid to support the distressed farmers and the district administration is in the process of acquiring land, the whole exercise is mired in controversy following allegations of corruption.

The land acquisition process for the Palamur- Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS), has brought disrepute to the govt due to rampant corruption.

A report submitted by Mahbubnagar Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Hanmantha Reddy, who investigated the allegations, confirmed that large-scale irregularities have taken place in the process of land acquisition in Bhootpur mandal.

According to RDO’s report, Rs 1.25 crore was siphoned off by officials in the name of award of land compensation with four survey numbers in a village.

The RDO said officials have manipulated the reports by colluding with some people including land owners to deliberately inflate the value of lands at Karvenapally in Bhootpur mandal, to claim higher compensation.

“The state has fixed the compensation for agricultural lands that yeild two crops a year at Rs 5.5 lakh per acre. Similarly, it was decided to award a compensation of Rs 4.5 lakh per acre for lands that produce only one crop annually. Barren lands will get Rs 3.5 lakh per acre.  But in a bid to swindle government money some officials have marked barren lands as cultivable lands producing two crops a year and lands without bores have been shown as lands with bores. This has led to huge loss of public money,” the RDO stated in his report.

The four survey numbers in question are 170, 190, 192 and 193 of Karvenapally. An extent of 65.83 acres of land was acquired in the village. The officials have stated in their report that the chuncks of land has 11 bores and 3 borewells.  However, the official record of electricity department confirmed that it had only three borewells.

“Our physical inspection of the area revealed that the bores and borewells stated by the local revenue officials were non-existent. There were no borewells and bores. Some even did not have electricity connection,” RDO Hanmanth Reddy told Express.

Irregularities did not stop there. Officials divided the 65-acre land into two sections. The RDO highlighted the same in the inquiry report, which was submitted on January 18, 2016 to district collector TK Sridevi.

The inquiry has named Bhootpur tahsildar Jyothi responsible for the irregularities. An inspection of the lands with four survey numbers by MLA Ale Venkateswar Reddy too confirmed the same. The Tahsildar, however, claimed innocence and said she was ready to face any inquiry.  Interestingly, Jyothi had received an appreciation certificate from the district collector on Republic Day. The report was submitted to the district collector with a recommendation to initiate action against the corrupt officials.

As part of the PRLIS project it was decided to construct six reservoirs--Anantagiri, Veeranjaneyulu, Venkatadri, Karvena, Udhandapur and KP Lakshmidevipally.  It was also decided to acquire 20,884.86 acre land for this except for the reservoir of Lakshmidevipally. Of this, 15,889.99 acre land is found to be patta land and the remaining government land.  The state has issued GO No 123 for the purpose of land acquisition and payment of compensation. The govt has released Rs 390 cr towards payment of compensation.



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