Revanth Reddy reiterates demand for CBI probe in land auction

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief A. Revanth Reddy on Monday reiterated the demand for probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the auction of government lands at Kokapet in Hyderabad.

The MP alleged that the hacking of website of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has raised suspicion about internal involvement in the scam.

He said the information from HMDA office disappeared after he lodged a complaint with the CBI and demanded a thorough probe into the auction. Reddy said the CBI inquiry should be ordered immediately.

Reddy was reacting to reports about hacking of a year’s data of the Development Permission Management System (DPMS) belonging to HMDA.

Files relating to building and layout permissions including those of the Kokapet auction and integrated master plan have reportedly vanished from servers and from computers of officials connected to these servers. The DPMS website is allegedly dysfunctional for last 20 days.

It is for the third time this year that data from website has been hacked. Congress party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka also raised the issue in the state Assembly on Monday and demanded immediate action.

Revanth Reddy had last month filed a complaint with the CBI alleging Rs 1,000 crore loss to the state exchequer in Kokapet land auction.

The Congress leader claimed that certain officials colluded with public sector units and a few builders in the e-auction, resulting in loss to the exchequer. He also alleged that some realty companies close to the chief minister were favoured in the auction.

In July, HMDA earned revenue Rs 2,000 crore with the auction of 49.949 acres of land in Kokapet.

HMDA had fixed the price at Rs 25 crore per acre but the e-auction fetched maximum price of Rs 60.2 crore per acre for 1.65 acre plot.

The state government also earned Rs 729.41 crore from auction of 14.91 acres at Khanamet near HITEC City.

These e-auctions were undertaken under the first phase of the government’s plan to sell its surplus land to mobilize Rs 20,000 crore during 2021-22 as non-tax revenue to deal with the economic crisis arising from coronavirus pandemic.