Special Correspondent

Questions the need to alter the design so many times

  • Charges the Chief Minister with giving a blank cheque to HUDA
  • Need for further widening of the road and train questioned
  • Small and marginal farmers a worried lot

    HYDERABAD: T. Devender Goud, Telugu Desam MLA, on Wednesday questioned the Government's decision to change the alignment of the Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad 115 times, acquire large extents of land and lay 14-lane road and track for circular train.

    Initiating a short discussion on acquisition of lands in and around the twin cities in the Assembly, Mr. Goud said it appeared as if the Chief Minister had given a blank cheque to the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to do whatever it wanted to with land acquisition and alignment of ORR.

    Criterion questioned

    "Nobody knows the criteria adopted in changing the ORR alignment from original one to new one. Was there any scientific basis to it? Was there any filed survey at all? Why the road width has been raised from 300 feet to 500 feet? Where is the need for a circular train when such massive ring road is being made available? Will the project be viable when per kilometre cost is working out to Rs. 50 crore?"He said no other issue had attracted so much attention in the recent times as the ORR. Small and marginal farmers in Ranga Reddy district were a worried lot, as they would lose their lands and livelihood.

    They were being paid paltry sums for acquiring their lands. A classic example was Kokapet where HUDA acquired land paying a compensation of Rs. 3 lakh per acre but quoted an upset selling price of Rs. 4.5 crores and ultimately got Rs. 14.5 crores an acre. It meant the farmers here would not be able to buy even a few yards anywhere near Kokapet. Is this development?

    TDP comparison

    In contrast there was never any protest when the TDP Government acquired 10,000 acres for International Airport project at Shamshabad and for projects like Apparel Park. "This was because we took them into confidence and ensured that they got fair compensation, better than the market price."