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Land compensation: Outdated records put GHMC in a fix

Land compensation: Outdated records put GHMC in a fix

HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) faces issues with awarding land compensation to property owners as the Town Survey and Land Records (TSLR) has not been updated for decades.

The owners cry foul as their properties are still listed as government land in the land records even though they had purchased them long back.

For instance, the house belonging to the late chief minister NT Rama Rao on Road No. 13, Banjara Hills and former special chief secretary VP Jauhari’s properties are still listed as government land.

This came to light when the corporation started verifying land records for acquiring properties for widening Road No. 13, Banjara Hills to 60 feet.

GHMC and other departments depend on TSLR for verifying ownership of land. However, the TSLR was prepared in 1975 after completing a comprehensive survey from 1965.

After preparing the land records, they need to be revised from time to time, but doesn’t seem to be happening.

Officials said due to records not having been updated, the corporation has been facing problems in awarding land compensation. Some parcels of land, which originally belonged to the state government 50 years ago, were given to the municipal corporation, housing board and other departments while some were regularized or sold to individuals. However, these details were not updated in the records.

Recently, GHMC faced problems in acquiring properties on the Chikkadpally main road where nearly 80 shops were being shown as government land as per the TSLR, but corporation officials said the land was handed over to the corporation hence it was government vested municipal (GVM) land and the shop owners have been running business for over 30 years. Similarly, nearly 50 shops on either side of the road in Ameerpet were still listed as government land as per TSLR.

“As per the Land Acquisition Act, the corporation cannot pay compensation to government land if it is acquired.

Since property owners have been staying for several decades, they have been paid compensation in the form of ex gratia after verifying documents and residential proofs,” GHMC additional commissioner (planning) K Dhananjaya Reddy said.

He admitted the land records were not being updated regularly and the corporation was supposed to send requests for change of classification to the collectorate.

Survey Settlement and Land Records (SSLR) department officials said Hyderabad district was facing the peculiar problem as all government departments were dependent on TSLR for verifying title of properties.

“In other districts, land records like pahanis and right of records (RoR) are updated regularly, which are useful for verifying ownership of any land.

“Hyderabad neither has pahanis or RoR system. Still, the records are being updated whenever we get records,” SSLR department deputy director of Hyderabad Ch V Subba Rao told STOI.

“The problem has become complex as the registration department has been making registrations on house numbers and without survey numbers in the city.

There were attempts to make survey numbers mandatory while registering a property, but it has not succeeded,” the deputy director said.

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