The Opposition has slammed the TRS government’s decision to convert several conservation zones in Telangana, including some green belts, into residential or commercial zones.
Between January 5 and 8, the state government issued 23 Government Orders on change of land use, allowing construction of residential or commercial complexes on lands that were earmarked for development of parks, green belts, open spaces and parks.
Seven Government Orders were issued to convert 145 acres under conservation zone to residential use in Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority area. About 1.5 acres of conservation zone land in Patancheru Mandal in Medak district has been converted to residential through a Government Order issued on January 8. (See box)
The Congress has accused the TRS government of trying to wipe out the “lungs” of Hyderabad. “All nurseries, open spaces and even parks are being converted. Many green spaces in the Hyderabad city limits are being given up for residential use which is not good. Green belts outside the city limits are also being converted. The state government should cancel all the Government Orders and stop changing the land use in other cases too,’’ said Mohammed Ali Shabbir, the deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the Legislative Council.
He urged the NGOs and environmentalists to raise the issue and oppose the change of conservation zones in the state, especially on the city’s outskirts.
While the government’s move to regularise encroachments up to 125 sq yards in Hyderabad was welcomed by political parties, including the Congress, the government is now being accused of going on a selling spree of all the lands available to it.
“The state government should leave the conservation zones alone otherwise very little space would be left for parks and green spaces,’’ a BJP leader said.
However, Finance Minister E Rajender defended the government’s move and said only those lands that were not in use, or were being used for other purposes than the specified reason, were being converted to make way for development.