GHMC’s decision to develop the road from Banjara Hills Road No. 2 to Jubilee Hills Road no. 5 and the Krishnanagar junction via the Annapurna studios at a cost of Rs. 7.20 crore has run into a controversy.

Twice the project was put before the standing committee presided over by the Mayor, Mohd. Majid Hussain, for clearance and was put off. The issue turned murky with the intervention of a city minister, a couple of political parties and lobbying by a reigning matinee idol, say informed sources.

The road is proposed to be an alternate road for the metro rail construction and a development plan too was prepared on the instructions of the powers that be. But, when the road is widened by 20 ft taking over a part of the seven acres owned by the studio, it will facilitate construction of a multi-storied building.

Telugu Desam corporators, smelling something fishy, have accused GHMC of taking up the work to allow the studio and a builder to build a mall as the current 60 ft road does not permit such a construction.

Floor leader Singireddy Srinivas Reddy has represented to the Chief Minister, Municipal Administration Minister, Mayor, GHMC Commissioner and others, charging the civic body of playing an active role in taking up the project spending crores of rupees for land compensation when the land itself was given almost free for development of the film industry.

Annapura studios had utilised 15 acres for its film studio while the rest of the seven acres was being used to run a timber depot against the rules. When the Government wanted to take over the land in mid-80s because of the ‘illegal’ commercial activity, the studio got a stay order from the High Court arguing it was a saw mill for cutting wood to erect film sets, he said.

The HC even while staying the Government action has also stated that the land can be taken over if any commercial activity done as it was allotted for a public purpose. The TD has demanded the land be taken over for constructing any facility for a public purpose like a hospital, shelter home for the disabled, destitutes and similar such social welfare works to benefit large sections of the society.

Roads from Srinagar Colony to the Sathya Sai Nigamagam road or through the Sagar Society road via the Home Minister’s residence could be developed as alternate roads when metro line construction is taken, suggested Mr. Reddy.

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