Hyderabad: The Telangana State Government and several public sector banks are at odds over land and government assets mortgaged and developed on them by defaulting debtors, which are collectively worth thousands of crore.
The latest Trident scam, in which CBI booked the developers of the hotel project near Hitec City on bank fraud charges of Rs 1,285 crore, will only add to the ongoing fight between the government. State and banks.
As the state government tries to reclaim ownership of the plots of land in situations where developers defeat the purpose for which the allotment was made, banks argue that the government has allowed l mortgage on the property and therefore cannot recover the land or assets built on it.
Documents available with Chronicle of the Deccan revealed that the former government of Andhra Pradesh leased around five acres to a consortium of companies to build, operate and transfer (BOT) the hotel project after 33 years.
Initially, a five star hotel, Trident was to be built at a cost of Rs 214 crore, but the scope was extended, involving two hotels – Trident and Oberoi. Although the second hotel remained incomplete, the cost of the project climbed to almost Rs 1,300 crore.
As the construction of the second hotel was halted halfway, the hotel building has a mysterious appearance. Half is just a skeletal structure, adjoining the Trident.
Documents also revealed that Golden Jubilee Hotels Pvt Ltd, against which the CBI had brought the case, had made a commitment to the lenders to deposit all of the turnover in an escrow account with the Bank of Baroda.
Later, however, he alleged that the operating company had diverted the amounts to a separate bank account without his knowledge and without his approval.
“The agreement clearly states that the project is being built on a BOT basis and will become state property after the end of the concession period. We must act immediately to protect our interests, ”a senior tourism official told the correspondent.
In a similar case, the state government issued orders for the repossession of five acres which were offered by the then government YS Rajasekhar Reddy to a certain Dr Krishna Swaroop Reddy in the main region of Khajaguda for a simple Rs 55 lakh on the pretext that it would build an ultramodern state-hospital and treat the poor there. A former member of the Rajya Sabha who enjoyed enormous powers during the YSR tenure is said to have done a murder with this deal.
Three years later the doctor mortgaged the property to Andhra Bank for Rs 90 crore and then defaulted. The lender went to the High Court against the government order to take back the five-acre land. “We have fought several of these cases,” a bank official said on condition of anonymity.