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Real estate mafia grabs govt land

Imran Gowhar
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Private builders carve up land in collusion with officials

A surprise inspection by officials on the Bangalore’s outskirts has unearthed a major scam running to multiple crores, where close to 1,000 acres of government land was grabbed by real estate mafia and sold to hundreds of gullible people as sites.

Private builders were found to have encroached upon 965 acres of land in the Bannerghatta village panchayat limits, formed layouts and sold them, an inspection by the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore (Urban) in the panchayat limits covering 10 villages has concluded.

Tip of the iceberg

“This could just be the tip of the iceberg and we are continuing inspections in other village panchayats falling under Bangalore district,” said Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore District (Urban) G C Prakash, who led the inspection, adding that the nature of the scam was much bigger than what the inspection on Monday revealed. The builders, in collusion with the village panchayat officials, created illegal khatas to claim ownership of the government land. However, they could not change the regular RTC (Record of Rights) from the Revenue Department which clearly shows that the land in question belongs to the government. Similar revelations of large-scale government land encroachments were made earlier by the joint legislature committees led by A.T. Ramaswamy and a task force for the recovery of public land led by V. Balasubramaniyan.

Among the major encroachers is the management of Champakdhama Swami temple on Bannerghatta Road, accused of encroaching 28 acres of reserved forest land.

The encroached land includes gomala and gundutopu land, besides raja kaluve.

Dr. Prakash admitted the land had been encroached upon by private builders in nexus with the Bannerghatta village panchayat officials.

“I have issued notices to the members of the village panchayats asking them to refrain from issuing khatas and directed the sub-registrars of the jurisdictions concerned from registering any property till the enquiry is completed,” he said. The government will also initiate action to get its land back. So where does that leave those who trustingly bought the sites from the builders?

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