It is perhaps one of the few surviving green spaces in the heart of the city, but it’s survival is under threat now. Residents of Venkataramana Colony in Punjagutta have been running from pillar to post to save their colony park, measuring over 600 square yards, from land grabbers. However, municipal authorities are indifferent to the matter, they allege.

Residents accuse the local elected public representatives and the municipal authorities of being hand in glove with the land grabbers in encroaching the park space.

Venkataramana Housing Society had purchased about five acres of land at Punjagutta way back in 1965 and some space was earmarked for two colony parks. While park I was well developed, park II was left as open land for many years. Taking advantage of this, local elected public representatives and their supporters have been trying to encroach it by creating false documents, layouts and staking claim for the park land. Revenue authorities who conducted a survey in 2005 declared that the park land belonged to Venkataramana Housing Society, claimed P.V.R Naidu, president of Venkataramana Colony at a press conference here. Yet, the land-grabbers continued their efforts and even managed to obtain a court stay order by producing fabricated documents.

Since then, colony members had been approaching GHMC authorities, district Collector and revenue authorities to save the land but in vain, Mr. Naidu alleged. “The GHMC has not even lodged a police complaint nor are they trying to get the stay vacated to save the land. Left with no option, we have decided to stage a hunger strike from next week in the park,” said Mr. Naidu.

Fabricated layouts

In another case, neighbouring Anandajyoti Co-operative Housing Society near Vidyut Soudha alleged that the local elected representatives created fabricated layouts of their locality and sold the land meant for roads and public utility to a private firm.

Despite the court directing to maintain status quo, the private firm did not stop construction, said S. Venkateswara Rao, a resident of the locality.

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