Staff Reporter

Panel on encroachment of government land in and around Bangalore submits report

  • Government staff `colluded with land grabbers'
  • Panel for legal action against erring public servants
  • Government staff `colluded with land grabbers'
  • Panel for legal action against erring public servants

    Bangalore: The Legislature should enact a law on the lines of the Andhra Pradesh Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act 1982 to punish land grabbers and those who abet such crimes. The period of imprisonment for such offenders should be a minimum of three years with a fine.

    This is the highlight of the interim report submitted in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday by the Chairman of the Joint Legislature Committee on encroachment of government land in Bangalore and the adjoining areas, A.T. Ramaswamy.

    Special court

    The report has also recommended that a special court be constituted for speedy trial of all the land encroachment cases. The committee has so far detected encroachment of 13,614.37 acres of land worth Rs. 27,377.75 crore belonging to the Departments of Revenue, Muzrai, Forest, Minor Irrigation (tank beds), Health, Animal Husbandry and Transport apart from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), the town municipal councils and city municipal councils, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP), the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB), the Wakf Board, various house building cooperative societies, Bangalore University and the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board.

    The land grabbers have not spared graveyards and have encroached upon 599 acres of this apart from 3,246 acres of waste weirs, canals and roads.

    The interim report has held several government departments and agencies responsible for the encroachment and said government personnel had also colluded with the land grabbers. The Revenue Department said the officials had issued three lakh "bogus title deeds" in Bangalore Urban district alone. The report recommended creation of a permanent legal authority headed by a High Court judge to take appropriate action against encroachers. This would act as a deterrent. It should have powers to conduct prima facie inquiry and register cases and the authority should be provided adequate police and administrative staff.

    Emphasising the need for such a legal authority, the report said encroachments were more in and around Bangalore owing to the high land cost. "This naturally leads to encroachment of all lands, including parks, playgrounds and tank beds under the control of urban local bodies, the Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore Mahanagara Palike."