A citizen-official joint effort has helped protect public property in Kolar town. A telephone call by an alert resident to the authorities concerned helped the latter foil a bid to encroach upon a portion of a tank in the town.

Manjunath C.N., Assistant Commissioner of Kolar, on receiving the phone call from the resident on the night of December 2 saying that a portion of the Kodikannur tank-bed on Srinivasapur Road was being levelled using earthmovers for construction purpose, directed the tahsildar to carry out a spot inspection.

Tahsildar K. Nagaraj and Kolar City Municipal Council Commissioner B.N. Jagadish visited the spot early on December 3 and found that the complaint was true.

During inspection, Ramappa, a realtor, told the officials that the land belonged to him and showed photocopies of khata and tax receipts issued by the municipal council, in support of his claim.

Mr. Ramappa told the officials that he had purchased the land from Venkataramappa of Kodikannur village and the khata was obtained in 1995.

Mr. Nagaraj, however, found that the documents were fake and that the portion of the tank which fell under the Minor Irrigation Department could not have been sold to any private party. He also took Mr. Jagadish to task for collecting tax for the piece of land on a tank-bed. Mr. Jagadish reportedly admitted to a faux pas committed by the then official of the civic body in issuing the khata for the tank-bed land.

The encroacher was warned that he would be arrested if he proceeded with any work on the land in violation of the law, Mr. Nagaraj told The Hindu.

Later, the Panchayat Raj Engineering Department was directed to put up a display board mentioning that the land belonged to the Minor Irrigation Department and that encroachers will be punished. Mr. Manjunath said steps would be taken to clear the encroachment.

He tanked the complainant for bringing to the encroachment to the notice of authorities.

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