A committee has been formed to investigate the farmhouse’s legality after Congress leader A Revanth Reddy petitioned NGT.

Telangana Cong Pres accuses KTR of building illegal farmhouse NGT sends notice
news Controversy Saturday, June 06, 2020 - 11:18

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday sent a notice to KT Rama Rao, Telangana Minister for IT, Industries & Commerce and Municipal Administration & Urban Development, in Telangana over an alleged illegal construction of a farmhouse in violation of environmental rules in the state. A two-member bench of the NGT has directed a committee consisting of central and state government agencies to initiate a probe into the accusations made by the petitioner, A Revanth Reddy, the working president of the Congress in Telangana. 

In his petition, Revanth has accused KTR of constructing the farmhouse, built over 1 lakh square feet of land worth Rs 250 crore, is in a prohibited zone in Janwada village of Shankarpally mandal. Revanth is also accused of destroying a natural stream for building a road leading up to the three-storey structure which has a swimming pool. Revanth has also alleged that KTR has spent Rs 25 crore to build the farmhouse.

The NGT-appointed committee looking into these allegations will comprise of officials of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Telangana State Pollution Control Board, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and Hyderabad Municipal Development Authority (HMDA) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSS&SB), the Irrigation Department, and Lake Protection Society. 

The committee is to prepare and submit a report by the day of the next on August 26. The report is to include the action to be taken and environment compensation that is to be received by the state if the construction is found to be illegal, said Sravan Kumar, Revanth Reddy’s advocate, to The New Indian Express.

The lawyer argued that the construction took place in 2016 – after KTR became a minister in 2014 – and that there was no construction at the location until 2015. Google Earth images of the said location are reportedly attached in the petition. 

The Congress is accusing KTR of constructing the farmhouse violating the Government Order 111, which prohibits setting up industries and other structures within a 10-kilometre radius of the Himayatsagar and Osmansagar tanks. The government order prohibits the construction of hotels and residential structures near 84 listed villages in six mandals considered catchment areas.

GO 111 was issued on March 8, 1996, but in 2011, the then state government led by N Kiran Kumar Reddy of the Congress decided to exempt 33 acres located at Shankarpally mandal from the GO. The exemption was condemned by environmentalists who had alleged that the locality was already being encroached upon and was hot real estate.

Member of Parliament and working president of the Telangana Congress, A Revanth Reddy was detained by Cyberabad police in Hyderabad on March 2 along with K Vishweshwara Reddy, the former Chevella MP. Both leaders had gathered a few of their followers and with media persons, and were walking towards the farmhouse. Revanth was later arrested and sent to judicial custody for 14 days for alleged illegal use of a drone he had flown over the farmhouse.

In March, several TRS leaders came forward defending KTR. The leaders stated that KTR took the property on lease under his wife K Shailima name four years ago and that this detail was mentioned in his election affidavit.

 

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