High Courts puts off 17 villages’ merger

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Hyderabad: Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday granted interim suspension on the implementation of GOs issued by the state government to merge 17 villages in Rajendranagar, Shameerpet, Qutbullapur, Ghatkesar, Keesara and Medchal mandals of Ranga Reddy district into GHMC.
The judge was dealing with a batch of petitions moved by villagers of the proposed gram panchayats against the merger. He found that the authorities had failed to adopt the procedure prescribed under the statute to merge the villages.
While granting the interim suspension, the judge made it clear that it was open to the authorities to contemplate the procedure to merge the gram panchayats in accordance with the law. The judge directed the authorities to file their counter-affidavits within two weeks.
While Ranga Reddy district Sarpanches Association leader R. Ganesh Gupta termed the HC order as a victory of the people against the unilateral decision of the state government. Telangana Rashtra Samiti politburo member and Parigi MLA Harishwar Reddy described it as a slap on the face of the government.
However, officials in the panchayat raj and municipal administration departments said they will explain to the court the government’s stand and the procedure followed in the counter-affidavits.
The HC had made it clear that the merger can be done by the government by following the procedure.
“The state government is vested with powers to merge the villages with Greater Hyderabad following the laid down procedure,” a senior official said.
The municipal administration department had issued three different GOs on August 31, September 3 and September 5 declaring merger of, in all 36 gram panchayats.
The court orders pertained to the following gram panchayats: Gandipet, Manchirevula and Kokapet (Rajendernagar mandal); Jawaharnagar (Shamirpet mandal); Shamshabad (Shamshabad mandal); Pragathinagar, Bachupally, Kompally and Dulapally (Qutbullapur mandal); Boduppal, Medipally, Parvatapur and Chengicherla (Ghatkesar mandal); Nagaram and Dammaiguda (Keesara mandal) and Gundla Pochampally (Medchal mandal). 

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