Hyderabad: KTR takes note of Khajaguda protest, asks officials to act

Hyderabad: Telangana Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) KT Rama Rao (KTR) on Sunday took note of the ongoing protests at Khajaguda to save the heritage rocks.

The minister urged Special Secretary for urban development, Arvind Kumar to enquire about the issue in order to resolve the matter. The issue of the rocks at Khajaguda being demolished was brought to KTR’s notice by an orgnisation named Society to save the Rocks via twitter .

Responding to the tweet the minister wrote, “Request @arvindkumar_ias to inquire into the issue”

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The organisation urged KTR for an immediate response to a long standing issue. The society has alleged that the continuous illegal dumping is an attempt to level the natural rock formation to a soil dump. This is not the first time that such an attempt has happened.

What is the Khajaguda Heritage Rock site issue?

Citizen groups and activists have been on a row of protests and campaigns in order to awaken the authorities to attempts made at bringing the nature site to extinction. In spite of all the campaigns, activists say that enough is not being done to protect these invaluable hills.

The site with rocks dating to several million years is located in Nanakramguda and is just a 20-minute drive from the Amazon Hyderabad campus and the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Gachibowli, thereby providing a green lung space amidst the hectic, concrete-filled IT corridor. It is also the location of the Hyderabad Climbing Championship that is gaining recognition across the country.

Telangana High Court’s order dating back to 4/06/2019 gave a verdict that the Khajaguda rocks should not be disturbed, damaged, or destroyed. The Society to Save the Rocks has put forth three demands regarding the matter.

1) To immediately stop the destruction of rocks at Fakhruddingutta

2) To include all the heritage rock formations listed as per previous G.O’S in the Telangana Heritage (Protection, Preservation, Conservation, and Maintenance) Act, 2017.

3) Develop Fakhruddingutta into a Rock, Nature, and Adventure Park for the citizens of Hyderabad.

Recent developments

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) seems to be unaware of the drilling of rocks at Khajaguda. C Ritwik Reddy, a member of Save Khajaguda Rocks, went to meet an officer from the HMDA, he expressed surprise at the demolition.

Speaking of his encounter with the HMDA official , Reddy said, “The officer in question informed me that he had put a stop to the demolition and was unsure as to how it continued. I had to show him a video of the demolition from today morning to prove the same. We are currently unsure if the demolition is being carried out by HMDA or by some other vested groups.”

On Sunday , activists set up display boards in English and Telugu at the heritage site of Khajaguda Hills citing the order of the Telangana High Court from 2019. They will also soon be filing a contempt of court against the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

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