"Why is public money to the tune of Rs 15-20 crore being spent for a private purpose?” activists had questioned earlier.

After locals protest Telangana govt junks plan for helipad near KCRs private home
news Controversy Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 07:37

The state government on Tuesday scrapped its plans to build a helipad close to a house owned by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Karimnagar district, after activists and locals moved court.

On December 29, the Karimnagar District Collector had issued a notification for acquisition of land across 5.14 acres at Theegalaguttapally village at the outskirts of the city.

“The Chief Minister has decided to withdraw the land acquisition proceedings for construction of a helipad at Theegalaguttapally village of Karimnagar (Rural) Mandal. As such, the land acquisition proceedings are hereby withdrawn,” the office of the Karimnagar Collector said in a notice that was issued.

The Lok Satta Udyama Samstha had earlier written to the Chief Secretary demanding that the notification be cancelled.

“The CM’s residence is purely private and personal. It is not a permanent residence of CM owned by government. Why is public money to the tune of Rs 15-20 crore being spent for a private purpose?” the letter dated January 10, asked.

They also pointed out that there was already a helipad at the premises of the Karimnagar Collectorate which was nearby.

Two cases were also filed in the Telangana High Court at Hyderabad. A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Srinivas, represented by advocate C Ramesh Sagar, which stated that the decision was ‘illegal, arbitrary, and opposed to the principals of natural justice,’ and demanded that the court strike down the decision.

Meanwhile, five residents who were affected by the land acquisition also moved court and were represented by V Raghunath. The case was heard on Monday and cited provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, contending that specific public purpose needed to be shown, before the acquisition could begin.

The government’s counsel argued that the helipad was being constructed from a security point of view and could be used by other VVIPs. After hearing both sides, the court issued a notice to the state government and revenue authorities to file a counter.

Following this, the government went back on its plans.

 

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