HYDERABAD: The state government on Thursday decided to set up two joint House committees to probe into the functioning of all cooperative housing societies in the state.
Reacting to an onslaught from MIM floor leader in assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi who demanded that the government initiate a probe, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao agreed to set up the committees and suggested that since these were important issues, the committees should comprise members from the legislative assembly as well the legislative council. This was agreed to by Owaisi and the rest of the House. Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary later announced that the two House committees would be set up.
Taking part in a discussion on a calling attention motion on alleged irregularities in the functioning of cooperative housing societies, particularly the Jubilee Hills Cooperative House Building Society and the Film Nagar Cooperative Housing Society, the chief minister said that functioning of all societies which received incentives from the government in terms of land or other amenities, need to be probed thoroughly. He, however, did not agree to Owaisi's demand for appointment of a special officer in the interim to take over the management of the housing societies.
The chief minister said that from now on, every housing cooperative society would be required to provide reservation in plots for BCs, SCs and STs. Responding to another demand made by Owaisi, he said the government would construct a Banjara Bhavan and a Tribal Bhavan in Banjara Hills.
Chandrasekhar Rao also said that a judge would be appointed soon to the Telangana Wakf Tribunal so that pending cases can be taken up.
Earlier in the discussion, Akbaruddin Owaisi said, "Many inquiries and investigations have been conducted on the land scam involving housing societies, but no action has been taken against the culprits." Recalling inquires conducted by the director general of vigilance & enforcement department and Kiranmayi Committee from cooperation department, Owaisi demanded the government to make their findings public. "Nobody knows what are the findings leave alone action taken against the culprits. We demand the government to table Kiranmayi report in the House," he said. Estimating the quantum of the scam at around Rs 500 crore, Owaisi demanded an action nothing less than a judicial inquiry.
"A House committee will not do since many such actions have gone without yielding any results. A judicial inquiry headed by a retired judge must be ordered. And before that, the government must appoint a special officer and scrap their governing bodies," he added.
Taking objection to the chief minister's reply, who had said the committee of Dargah Hazrath Hakeem Shah Saheb Baba had been illegally claiming ownership of an extent of 4448.4 sq yards at Hakimpet which is among the land alloted to Jubilee Hills Co-operative House Building Society, Owaisi showed a document to show that the land was given to the dargah 300 years ago by Qutub Shahi rulers.
"The first and foremost irregularity in the scam is that the land belonging to wakf was given to the cooperative housing society while these societies later violated their own bylaws to gift the land parcels to rich and influential groups," Owaisi said.
As he protested the CM's statement on the Dargah's claim, Chandrasekhar Rao intervened and said the government was not concealing any fact and the culprits would be brought to book. Owaisi provided instances of bylaw violations of housing societies, as commercial complexes and film studios had come up on these lands. He named Cinemax and Padmalaya Studio as examples of such violations.
The societies including Jubilee Hills Cooperative House Building Society (1,398 acres), Journalist Cooperative Housing Society (25 acres), Sri Venkateswara Cooperative Housingt Society (100 acres), Film Nagar Cooperative Housing Society (50 acres), Nandagir Cooperative Housing Society (12 acres), M/s Deccan Hospitals (30 acres), and Micro Wave Station ( 1-32 cents) have all been accused of violating norms and deviations of land use permissions.