Special Correspondent

‘Land Protection Cell’ will be headed by a Deputy Collector

TUDA will fence these lands and develop them

Vast chunks of government land encroached upon

HYDERABAD: The government has decided to set up a ‘Land Protection Cell’ headed by a Deputy Collector to protect its lands in and around Tirupati from encroachers and grabbers. The cell will be sanctioned sufficient supporting staff also.

These lands will be under the control of the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) which will fence them and keep a watch to prevent encroachments. The TUDA will also take steps to develop these lands.

The cell, however, will not touch lands forming part of Tirumala Hills which are under the purview of the TTD.

Speaking to reporters after Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy reviewed issues relating to lands in Tirupati area here on Wednesday, Revenue Minister D. Prasada Rao said the decision to set up a protection cell became inevitable as, vast chunks of government lands in the area were being encroached upon, causing prolonged disputes.

786 disputes

He said the encroachment was such that there were 786 disputes pending before various courts, involving an extent of 4,097 acres. Similarly, 910 disputes were pending before revenue courts at the level of RDO, joint Collector, Chief Commissioner, Land Administration and the government, involving another 7,166.6 acres.

The Chief Minister asked the Vedic University authorities to return 147.65 acres of land allotted to it by the government, to Sri Venkateswara University. Dr. Reddy offered the land available opposite SVU to the Vedic university instead.

New buildings

He said the government would bear the expenditure to construct the buildings for the Vedic University. The decision to hand over the land back to SVU was taken as it sought additional lands for buildings as part of its expansion programme.

Apart from the Minister, the meeting was attended by K. V. Ramanachary, TTD Executive Officer, G. Sudhir, Principal Secretary, Revenue, and officials of the two universities.