It has registered only 23 cases since January this year

The Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) has seen a decline in the number of complaints, ostensibly owing to confusion over its existence.

The BMTF, which looks into encroachment of government land, has registered only 23 cases since January this year. Of that, four have been stayed by the High Court. It has issued notices to 38 people and arrested 16. The BMTF has cleared encroachments on 10 guntas of government land in five cases.

In contrast, the BMTF registered 44 cases and 79 cases in the first four months of 2012 and 2013 respectively. It registered a total of 208 cases in 2012 and 135 in 2013.

“With the court yet to decide the extension of the BMTF’s term, people are under the wrong impression that the task force has ceased to exist. This is reflected in a steep decline in the number of complaints received in the last few months,” BMTF chief R.P. Sharma told presspersons here on Monday.

He said that while the government had not renewed the term of its administrative powers since March 2013, the Government Order, which gave the BMTF its police powers, was a perpetual order and the task force was still operational.

He also said that, while some were crying themselves hoarse that the same people were lodging complaints against them and intimidating them, the task force was legally bound to take up all complaints. “We cannot be selective in pursuing complaints based on the antecedents of the complainants. No law bars people from filing multiple complaints,” he said.

Mr. Sharma said the task force had asked the Revenue Department to conduct a detailed survey of the Miller Tank bed area. He said that while it had been more than two months since the BMTF had requested a survey report, the officials were yet to carry out the survey of the disputed area.

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