Buddha Purnima a pipe dream

Hyderabad, May 29: The much touted Buddha Purnima project is fast turning a non-starter.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had chalked out an ambitious plan to locate 18 tourism projects around the lake including an Imax theatre, amusement park, international convention centre, People’s Plaza, food courts, rock garden and a mini golf course.

But Naidu’s grandiose plans have run aground even before the projects took a concrete shape. Out of the total 80 acre under the newly created Buddha Purnima Authority, as much as 60 acre is under litigation, it is reliably learnt.

Besides some individuals who staked claim over some of the land around the lake as inam land, the Forum for Better Hyderabad filed a writ of mandamus in the AP High Court objecting to changing land use on water bodies and preserving the environment in December last.

The HC, in an interim order, asked the State to maintain status quo on all water bodies in the State till the disposal of the case filed by the forum. Besides the State government, Huda Municipal Administration Department and Tourism and Culture Department have been made respondents.

In addition to the pending writ, a contempt case has also been filed against the government for taking up certain works in NTR Gardens. Some citizens filed writ petitions before the High Court objecting to cremation of former Chief Ministers N T Rama Rao and M Channa Reddy in the park located on the banks of Hussainsagar lake and Indira Park.

The High Court had directed the government to allow public parks to be turned into cremation grounds and alter the sites for any other purpose.

Based on this direction, a contempt case has been filed against the government for taking up tourism projects in NTR Gardens. The case is still pending.

Sources in the government said that out of the 18 projects, there is no stay on Imax theatre and amusement park. With regard to other projects, there is a title dispute of land on which the government had proposed international convention centre, People’s Plaza and Food courts. Similarly, about 15 acre is under dispute where the Rock Garden and Mini Golf Course had been proposed.

“The government is seriously pursuing the cases and we are confident that litigation will be cleared,” a senior official said.

The official further stated that there was also no dispute on fisheries land below Tank Bund where the State had proposed Snow Dome, Dream World and Sea World on an eight-acre site.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 31, 2001
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