Hyderabad: HMDA demolishes illegal encroachments at Khajaguda rocks

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: Taking cognizance of encroachments at the historic Khajaguda rocks, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) on Monday demolished illegally constructed gates within the premises. HMDA officials also retained possession of the heritage site, which has been besieged with encroachments over the last two years. In the last three weeks, two illegal temple sanctums and gates were built within the premises.

Activists involved in protecting the Khajaguda rocks told Siasat.com that HMDA officials including constables and site officers landed at the site and demolished the illegal encroachments. The Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple trust (which runs a temple in one part of the Khajaguda rocks) and the Fakhruddin Baba Dargah had both built gates without permission from the HMDA.

“The commissioner is visiting Khajaguda rocks in a week. But for now the HMDA has demolished the illegal gates. They decided to take action and to take control of it. The temple people were also filling up their side of the premises with soil to extend their site,” stated the activist, who did not want to be quoted.

HMDA to take control of Khajaguda rocks finally

The Khajaguda rock site is an ancient site and important part of the city’s terrain and is protected by the state government or the HMDA. It cannot be altered, and any work there has to be done by seeking permission from the HMDA. The rock formations here reportedly date back to millions of years ago. “The two small temple santums were built on January 22. Two temporary sheds built by a contractor while laying a road there also are still there,” added the activist.

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Hyderabad: Temple trust builds unauthorised sanctums at Khajaguda Hills

It has been learnt that the HMDA is also taking steps to prevent anti-social elements from causing trouble at the Khajaguda rocks. Guards are likely to be posted there round-the-clock in the coming days. In January 2022, activists held a series of protests against the destruction, and also placed boards citing an order from the Telangana High Court directing the state government to ensure that the site is protected.

A cop at the Khajaguda rocks (hills) oversees the encroachments being cleared. (Image: Siasat)

The site also had to be fenced after a survey was to decide its boundary by the HMDA. However, that is also yet to be done.

Khajaguda rocks history

Fakhruddin Gutta, popularly known as Khajaguda Hills, is a protected heritage site in Hyderabad. It is immensely loved and visited by trekkers, rock climbers, walkers, and others. However, for more than a decade, the place has been witnessing destruction due to encroachment. The site with rocks dating to several million years is located in Nanakramguda in Hyderabad. It is just a 20-minute drive from the Amazon Hyderabad campus and the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Gachibowli. Khajaguda rocks also provide a green lung space amidst the hectic, concrete-filled IT corridor.

It is also the location of the Hyderabad Climbing Championship that is gaining recognition across the country. The rock formations at Khajaguda, dating to several million years, are unique in several ways. Several caves systems in Telangana are not formed by the movement of water, but by the gradual weathering and breaking away of granite in hillocks.

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