Botanical Gardens: The first Botanical Gardens in Andhra Pradesh, spread over 120 acres, when completed will have 19 sections (Vanams). Already open to public is the first phase, with the completion of 5 sections. The sections include medicinal plants, timber trees, fruit trees, ornamental plants, aquatic plants, bamboos and so on. The Park has been designed to have large water bodies, rolling meadows, natural forests, rich grasslands and exquisite rock formations - all providing visitors an unforgettable experience
Forest dept to secure its land
16 May 2007, 0428 hrs IST, Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, TNN
HYDERABAD: Guess who is the largest landowner in and around Hyderabad? It is the government’s own forest department that owns a staggering 65,000
acres of land valued conservatively at a mind boggling Rs 3,25,000 crore.
With the city growing rapidly and now extending to areas where there is forest land, the department has suddenly woken up from its slumber to get a hold of the riches that it owns.
A comprehensive survey ordered six months ago has revealed this figure of 65,000 acres as the land that it owns. Now the forest department is planning to secure the surveyed land by constructing walls running into tens of kilometres.
This will not be an easy job though, not only because the costs would be high but also as there is a massive pressure on land on the outskirts of the city. "There is a great hunger for land in Hyderabad. The government and the corporate sector, both want land for housing and development. This puts the forest department in a very vulnerable position," an analyst said.
In fact the survey of the forest land around Hyderabad, which came after 50 years, has showed that boundaries of some forest land have changed with encroachment. Further, there are some areas that were identified as forest land but never notified as such.
What is worse, the survey revealed that the government, without any consultation with the forest department, has given away forest land to the poor, the landless and some other sections of people. The survey which is yet to be complete in all respects covered 103 forest blocks around Hyderabad: 57 in the south and 46 in the north of the city. Each forest block is of a different size.
Some are as small as 150 acres, while others cover over 1000 acres. The survey work has been completed in about 25 blocks. In some blocks, court cases have prevented the department from completing its work.
"Forest land is more secure in the south where developmental activity is of recent origin as compared with the north where the land prices began shooting up about 15 years ago", conservator of forests, Hyderabad circle, Sunil Kumar Gupta said. Four blocks: Srigiripuram, Turkayamjal, Dulapalli and Ellampet have been selected for construction of boundary walls immediately. Work will start in about two weeks’ time.
The department has paid Rs 65 lakh to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) which will take up the work. The wall around Dulapalli could run up to 10 km, sources said.
Sources indicate that the government wants the forest department to give up its plan to survey the non-notified forest areas so that the land there could be used for developmental projects.