The revenue authorities have taken up a massive drive to remove encroachments on the Swarnamukhi riverbed in Avilala revenue village of Tirupati rural mandal on Monday.
Led by administrative officer Kiran Kumar and Tirupati Rural Tahsildar Dastagiraiah, revenue employees brought earthmovers to the controversial site falling under survey No.360, pulled down 27 buildings, 18 partly-built structures and three acres of mango garden, besides demolishing a compound wall. The authorities took possession of the mango garden, while the three borewells in the garden were handed over to the panchayat for meeting the drinking water needs of the residents.
Even as the houses were being razed down, women and children ran to collect their belongings from the remnants of the buildings. As tempers ran high, several residents, including a number of women, attempted to raise their voice but they were promptly removed by the waiting policemen.
The said land fell under river poramboke and as such could not be sold or bought, Sub-Collector R. Mahesh Kumar said.
The residents had obviously ‘purchased’ the land without any proper documents and were hoodwinked by some middlemen.
The revenue officials cautioned the public not to fall prey to such land-grabbers who were out to lure them with similar offers of ‘buying’ revenue land.