Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) chief R.P. Sharma has urged the government to merge the three task forces under the Urban Development and Revenue departments, and the Bangalore Development Authority.

“There will be no financial liability and with a unified task force, there will be strength. The BMTF (which is under the Urban Development Department) does not have the required strength, as many posts are vacant,” Dr. Sharma told presspersons here on Saturday.

He said though he had written to the government in this regard in March 2012, he had not received a response. “Maybe my voice is not forceful. In my opinion, the unified structure of the three task forces will be able to achieve goals of protection of government land,” he added.

Redefined powers

Dr. Sharma said that though the task force’s powers had been redefined, it did not curtail the scope of their investigation powers under the statutory provision of the relevant sections of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Hitherto, the BMTF was handling cases of deviations and unauthorised constructions, based on public complaints. Now, it would concentrate on investigation into encroachment of government property.

The task force chief said the Government Order (GO) that “redefined the powers” of the BMTF could not supersede the powers granted through a notification. This meant that the GO would not affect investigation of cases that have already been taken up.

The BMTF is investigating cases against Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, Ministers S. Suresh Kumar and Arvind Limbavali, and Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy.

The BMTF’s performance had not suffered with the redefinition of powers, Dr. Sharma added.

As on February 15, the BMTF had arrested 77 people in relation to various cases, summoned 110 and interrogated over 235 people. It had also received 770 complaints on its website, he said.