Posted On November 7, 2016 By In City And 709 Views

OU seeks a saviour to save its land

Hyderabad: Even as authorities plan to celebrate the completion of 100 years of Osmania University in 2017, no one is talking about huge tracts of land lost due to the acts of successive governments in the united Andhra Pradesh. Seventh oldest in India and third in South India, Osmania University has had a glorious run but several chunks of its land is now entangled in court cases, mindless encroachment and indiscriminate gifting by governments which had made the university authorities helpless. At the time of the establishment of the university, the total extent of land was 1,721 acres and 66 cents but the total land in use by the university has reduced to 1470 acres and 2 cents. The university has officially been left to battle with different parties on 10 land-grabbing cases and people are not willing to vacate after the lease period. In response to a query by RTI activist Srinivas, the university has stated that out of the total extent of Acres1721.66 cents, 31 acres and 10 cents were sold for a pittance, 35 acres and 33 cents gifted away and 185 acres and 21 cents leased out to different institutions and organizations. The RTI activist had sought to know the total land that was allotted to OU at the time of establishment. How much land was presently under the control of university and how much land was encroached, who the encroachers were and which were the organizations to whom land was given on lease and what steps the government had taken to retrieve the land from encroachers. While the university wallows in a severe cash crunch, what it gets as revenue from leased lands is a pittance, mostly Re 1 per acre per annum. For instance, the State Archives pays just Rs 5 per annum for the five acres that it occupies. The lease agreement was signed in 1957 for a period of 99 years.  The OU has lost valuable land for good as several land parcels were sold in 1975 for pittance. HUDA complex comprising 6 acres and 20 cents was sold for Rs 12,91,312 in 1976, two acres to telephone department for Rs 10 lakh in 1982, Doordarshan Kendra got land in 1975 for Rs 69,69,600 and the extent of land was 31 acres and 10 cents. Asked about it, Opposition leaders said that the TRS government should explain what legal measures it was taking to protect the valuable land. T Congress spokesperson K Mahesh said that nearly half of the original allocated to Osmania University have been encroached and all governments need to be blamed for it and the process continues. It is alleged that Janagaon MLA M Yadagiri Reddy (TRS) had encroached upon 1.5 acres of land where hotel Swagath Grand had come up. The TRS government should now prove that it was different from the previous governments and retrieve all the land that has so far been encroached upon, he said. TTDP president L Ramana said his party feels that the TRS government was not serious to get back the land.  P Sudhakar Reddy, MLC, said the encroachments on the Osmania University should be curbed at any cost. He said the Nizam has provided a big chunk of land for the university. The government should take stern action against the encroachers, he said. CPI(M) Greater Hyderabad city secretary M Srinivas said the government should form a very strong legal team consisting of senior advocates to save the university land. He said they have information that many of those who encroached the lands were fighting cases in courts based on fake documents. If that was a fact then the government should explain why it is not able to establish the truth and get back the land. President of the OU Teachers Association Prof Satyanarayana said the land of the university should be protected in the interest of the future generations.

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