HYDERABAD: A two-member bench of the National Green Tribunal, Southern Zone has directed a committee consisting of officials from Central government and various state government agencies, to inquire into allegations against TRS working president and IT and MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao, of alleged illegal construction of a property in a zone where it is prohibited and destruction of a natural nala (stream) for the purpose, in violation of GO111, Water Act and Environment Act.
The NGT bench passed these directions on Friday after hearing a petition filed by Congress working president and Malkajgiri MP, A Revanth Reddy. According to the petition, the illegal construction is a farmhouse spanning 1 lakh square feet, with a swimming pool and is three floors tall, that was constructed after KT Rama Rao became a Minister in 2014.
It has allegedly been constructed inside the restricted zone of Janwada village of Shankarpally mandal, where residential development is not allowed. Janwada is one of the 84 villages falling under 10 km radius of full tank level of Osmansagar and Himayatsagar reservoirs where restrictions and prohibitions apply, as per the GO 111 to conserve the two water bodies.
Panel to look into KTR’s farmhouse
Sravan Kumar, advocate for Revanth Reddy in the case, said that the committee to be constituted to look into the allegations is to consist of officials from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, TSPCB, GHMC, HMDA, HMWS&SB, Irrigation Department and Lake Protection Society. The next hearing has been scheduled for August 26.
The panel will have to look into the issues raised and submit a report, along with proposed environment compensation to be received and action to be taken, if the construction is indeed found to be illegal.
Google Earth images of the place were also attached to show lack of any construction at the said place till 2015 and then the construction coming up in 2016.
Revanth Reddy also mentioned in the petition that when he went to the spot along with the media on March 1 this year to verify if the farmhouse was illegal after learning about it from locals, a case was registered against him by Narsingi police. Cases, including one under Section 188 of the IPC, was filed. He was arrested and sent to judicial custody on March 5.