Political differences apart, it was a long drawn land dispute that led to the recent fallout between two rival groups in the Old City, which ended with one dead and three others ( Chandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi and two members from Pehelwan’s family) critically injured. And while denizens eagerly wait to see how this case unfolds hereafter, real estate observers in the city note how property related crimes in Hyderabad have almost become the order of the day. With land prices across the twin cities shooting through the roof over the last one decade and scores of `unwarranted’ investors entering the market, they claim that the property game has indeed become a dirty one. Now, several land disputes are `settled’ through cold-murders, kidnappings or other such heinous acts of violence, observers say.
Giving a perspective to this gory reality of realty, a popular developer from the city said how the present chaos is actually rooted in the Nizam’s era when vast stretches of land were owned by the royal family and their friends and relatives. “Once the Nizam’s rule ended, many of these land ran into title tussles with more than one heir from the royal family claiming right over them. There were third parties too who rushed in to pick up properties whose original owners had fled the city by then,” the developer added. The urban land ceiling (ULC) came into force thereafter, leading to more confusion. With the government making no sincere effort to clearly demarcate the ULC land from the privately-owned land, it only opened up more avenues for land `mafias’ to use illegal means of grabbing these properties. In the Old City for instance, most of the land that now houses modern buildings, are under dispute due to the widespread presence of land grabbers. This has resulted in financial institutions shying away from doing business with developers in that area.
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