Project for protection of government lands in the district facing uncertainty
The transfer of Ranga Reddy district Collector V. Seshadri through a government order on Thursday has left the project for protection of government lands in the district facing uncertainty.
Mr. Seshadri was among the 11 IAS officers moved from their respective positions in the State. He has been shifted to Visakhapatnam, and A. Vani Prasad has been posted in his place. Soon after he assumed charge about one-and-a-half years ago, Mr. Seshadri began the formidable task of inventorising government lands in the district. In fact, protection of government lands was believed to be the purpose behind his transfer to the district.
Due to their real estate value, government lands in Ranga Reddy district are coveted by land sharks, resulting in encroachments to a large extent. The district administration is fighting a number of land-related cases in different courts.
An inventory by the district administration says that 17,000 hectares of government land is under encroachments, while 6,000 acres is caught up in various litigations.
Mr. Seshadri as the Collector had taken up the task of protecting the vacant government lands which were free from encroachments. Despite non-cooperation from the Revenue officials, he drove them to get the vacant patches of government land identified, surveyed, and demarcated. While the total extent of vacant lands identified exceeds one lakh acres, the process of demarcating them is still on.
“Demarcation is being done by planting pillars and sign-boards. So far we have demarcated more than 1,500 acres of agricultural land and over 3.66 lakh square yards of urban land,” informed K. Rajender Reddy, Special Grade Deputy Collector, Land Administration.
The Collector had surrendered the services of G. Subba Rao, Tahsildar of Serilingampally after the latter allegedly did not protect government lands, but the next day a government order revoked the surrender and reinstated the Tahsildar in the same place and position.
The order was challenged in High Court by activist groups, resulting in a directive that Mr. Rao should not be allowed to be part of any official duty till further orders.
Subsequently, the Tahsildar was transferred and just a week before the Collector’s transfer orders arrived.