Visakhapatnam

‘Land scam’: SIT receives 14 complaints on Day One

Retired Judge Bhaskar Rao and retired IAS officer Y.V. Anuradha, who are heading the SIT, inspecting the arrangements at the VMRDA Children’s Arena, in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Retired Judge Bhaskar Rao and retired IAS officer Y.V. Anuradha, who are heading the SIT, inspecting the arrangements at the VMRDA Children’s Arena, in Visakhapatnam on Friday.   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

65 other petitions diverted to Spandana programme

The State-government initiated SIT (Special Investigation Team) to inquire into the alleged land scam in Visakhapatnam district, got down to the task here on Friday.

The response on the first day was lukewarm, as till afternoon about 14 applicants had filed their complaints. However, another 65 applications were accepted but routed to ‘Others’ desk for addressing them through the weekly Spandana programme.

The district administration has made elaborate arrangements to receive the applications at the counters in the VMRDA Children’s Arena.

The applications will be received till November 7.

About 13 counters have been set up to address complaints from various places such as Seethammadhara, Maharanipeta, Gopalapatnam, Mulagada, Pendurthi, Sabbavaram, Gajuwaka, Pedagantyada, Parawada, Anandapuram, Bheemunipatnam and Padmanabham.

This apart there are two additional counters under the head ‘Others’ to address land issues that do not fall under the SIT’s purview. These can either be re-directed to the SIT or sent to Spandana programme.

About six additional help desks also have been set up to guide the people on how to go about it and fill the forms, at the venue.

Eight categories

The SIT has earmarked about eight categories to address the land grabbing issues such as change of classification of government lands, assignment made to ex-servicemen and political sufferers, NOCs given for the disposal of lands, government land grabbed by private individuals, encroachment of government land, government lands developed by private individuals or institutions without following the due procedure, tampering of land records and others, if any.

Previous probe

In June 2017, the then TDP government coming under pressure from various quarters formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by DIG Vineet Brijlal to inquire into the alleged land grabbing cases in Visakhapatnam district.

The SIT received about 2,875 petitions through various modes and it had taken up 333 petitions for inquiry. This apart, about 11 complaints were made by political leaders, including Ayyanna Patrudu, and 68 NOC land issue cases were taken up by the SIT.

The SIT had submitted its report six months later, but the full report was never made public either by the TDP government or the present YSR Congress Party-led State government.

Moreover, Member of Parliament and YSRCP leader Vijaya Sai Reddy on Thursday said that a new SIT had become necessary as the first report was not complete and had many loopholes. He said it did not serve its purpose as it protected many TDP MLAs and leaders, who were reportedly involved in the land scam.

The present three-member SIT comprises retired IAS officer Vijay Kumar, retired IAS officer Y.V. Anuradha and retired district and sessions judge T. Bhaskar Rao.

Mr. Vijaya Sai also said that the purview of the new SIT might be increased by including more areas such as Anakapalle and Payakraopeta and further strengthened by including more serving officers. It might be empowered to take up cases suo motu.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 1:52:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/land-scam-sit-receives-14-complaints-on-day-one/article29858163.ece

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