Hyderabad: On October 5, residents of the Sainagar Colony in Medipally village woke up to find tree guards missing in their park. Only later did they realize that it was part of a larger plan aimed at grabbing the parkland.

"Trees have been felled and guards stolen. Why is the mayor not taking any action? It's the municipality's park," said Vijayapal Reddy, a resident, who is living in Medipally village for the last 25 years.

Prior to the formation of Peerzadiguda Municipal Corporation (PMC), the alleged encroached land was registered as a park area in 1996 by the owners Leelavathi Bai, Ender Kumar, and Nirmal Kumar.

According to survey no 29 of 1996, plot no 86 spread over 1089 yards is bounded by 30 feet road in the north, 25 feet road in the south, 25 feet road in the east, and a park on the west.

Interestingly, nine transactions were made and it was earmarked as the park. As per the statement of encumbrance, the latest purchaser of the plot is P Paul Devapriyam, who has granted the land to the `Cherish Foundation' which is running an orphanage.

Lack of proper records with the PMC

Three years ago, Peerzadiguda was a gram panchayat with a sarpanch and village secretary.

The residents said the lack of proper records with the PMC is one of the biggest reasons why such fraudulent activities take place. "Somebody will come with a modified, fake layout and this will also be stated as a plot," said Reddy pointing to the park.

Another resident, M Sathaiah recalled that a similar incident happened in the park a few years back. He alleged that the secretary was also involved with the illegal selling of the land. She was later suspended.

Official response

Residents' Association president Somaiah Chengicherla said the issue has been brought to the notice of the mayor. Mayor in his response said that he will talk to the other parties involved but no response came thereafter.

NewsMeter tried contacting the mayor several times, but he didn't respond.

However, Srinivas, the commissioner in charge of Peerzadiguda Municipality said that he came across the issue for the first time. The residents had contacted him a year back when some people put a fence on the north and south side of the park. He immediately took action and got the fence removed.

"The officials will also approve the documents," said Reddy. "Everybody is interested in money, not to save the park."

Nimisha S Pradeep

Hailing from Palakkad, Kerala, Nimisha completed her MA in Communication (with a specialization in Print and New Media) from the University of Hyderabad. She has interned with The Hindu Metroplus, Chennai and The Sentinel, Assam. She was a fellow of the NFI Fellowship for Independent Journalists in 2021. In 2015, she attended the Jenesys Student Exchange Programme in Japan. She firmly believes in the power of words and the impact it can make on society. She looks forward to using her career in journalism to voice the issues of minorities. Her interest areas include gender, women and society. She pursues travel, photography, and music in her leisure time.

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