The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday questioned the commitment of the Ranga Reddy district administration to protecting government lands.

A Division Bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Ramesh Ranganathan directed the RR District Collector to ensure that no further encroachments were made on government lands at Balapur village (on the fringes of Chandrayanagutta) of Saroornagar mandal of the district.

The Bench passed this order, while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation petition and another writ petition relating to allegations of private persons illegally occupying government lands.

The Chief Justice observed that while the agencies like Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority got confined to planning, the District Collector had the power to protect government land. He observed that the Collector could have used police personnel to protect the properties of the government.

The Bench observed that the inaction of the district administration in the face of unauthorised persons occupying government lands and erecting structures like villas and buildings was unacceptable.

It wondered if the district administration had become dummies in the hands of some powerful politicians.

The two judges directed the Collector and HMDA officials to present a copy of the action-taken report to the High Court Registrar-General for their perusal.

All government lands illegally occupied by private persons in Balapur should be taken back within three months, the Division Bench said.

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