Hyderabad: Citizens concerned as encroachers target Khajaguda rocks again

Special chief secretary Arvind Kumar says he will visit the site within next few days and ensure action against those endangering the ancient rocks.

Hyderabad: Despite the state government’s assurances to protect the ancient Khajaguda Hill and its rare rock formation, encroachers continue to damage more of its rocks.

Khajaguda Hill is home to a plethora of flora and fauna, and rare geological formations that were identified as ‘heritage precincts’. However, the status was revoked in 2017.

Surrounded by the IT corridor and proximate to the Outer Ring Road (ORR), the rocks are under constant threat of illegal encroachment by realtors. A significant part of the area has been encroached upon since last year.

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On Friday, rock climbers from the city who visited the area said that encroachment activities at the rock site had been initiated again.

Responding to a picture of the encroachment at the Khajaguada, posted on Twitter by a journalist, the special chief secretary to the state, Arvind Kumar said that he would take cognisance into the matter. “I will visit in the next few days and ensure against any such attempt if it’s actually endangering these rocks,” he said.

Last year several protests were held, where citizens demanded that Telangana government protect the site, after patches of greenery were cleared by the encroachers from the area illegally.

In the recent past, activists also tried to get Hyderabad Municipal Development Authority (HMDA) to fence the Khajaguda rocks. Earlier, the HMDA officials even said that the survey of Khajaguda rocks had begun to put up a fence, but the works never proceeded.

What are Khajaguda Rocks?

Fakhruddin Gutta, popularly known as Khajaguda Hills, is a protected heritage site in Hyderabad. It is immensely loved and frequently visited by trekkers, rock climbers, walkers, and others.

The site with rocks dating to several million years is located in Nanakramguda in Hyderabad. It is just a 20-minute drive from the Amazon Hyderabad campus and the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Gachibowli.

Khajaguda rocks also provide a green lung space amidst the hectic, concrete-filled IT corridor.

It is also the location of the Hyderabad Climbing Championship which is gaining recognition across the country.

These rock formations are unique in several ways. The cave systems in Telangana are not formed by the movement of water, but by the gradual weathering and breaking away of granite in hillocks.

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