The gentleman has retired in a very senior position from the Government and just when he has put his feet up enjoying post-retirement days, came the bolt from the blue. As per the revenue records of the Collectorate the plot on which his home was built belonged to the Government!
The startling information was unearthed when a road development plan was prepared for widening near his house. He is not alone; few other VIP owners too had to face similar embarrassment because the Town Survey Land Record (TSLR) has not been updated for decades.
If land or properties acquisition is by itself a staggering task for the municipal corporation for road widening, it has become more complicated because of the defunct record. Last time the TSLR was prepared after a survey was way back in 1971 and since then, the Government has not thought it fit to bring the land records upto date.
It has led to much anguish not to mention confusion whenever the current plot owners go for redevelopment or during the road widening exercise when the no objection certificate has to be obtained from the revenue department disclaiming it to be a Government land.
“There have been changes in the ownership of the land in many parts where the Government has handed over land to the Housing Board or sold it to other parties during different intervals of time over the years but this has not been reflected in the TSLR causing delays in land acquisition,” explained senior officials.
GHMC and its erstwhile smaller version, the MCH too are supposed to communicate with the revenue authorities in the district collectorate notifying the changes in land ownership whenever new building plans are released or when properties are acquired for road widening to reflect the change in TSLR but it is not being done.
Quite puzzling considering that the municipal corporation has been relentlessly taking up road widening on different stretches for more than a decade now and has been facing awkward situations. For instance, for several properties on the Musheerabad-Chikkadpally stretch and also at Ameerpet, it was faced with properties owners showing ownership documents stretching to five decades but the TSLR showing the land as belonging to the Government, said senior officials.
A way out was found terming some of them as Government Vested Municipal Properties and ensuring suitable compensation was paid. Yet, senior officials feel it was imperative for TSLR to be updated and not just being digitised as was being done now. Also, because vested interests were taking undue advantage of the flawed TSLR to stake claims for compensation for old acquisitions too.