Thursday, December 21, 2006

Land worth crores gobbled

Land worth crores gobbled
The Times of India

Bangalore: It cannot be more timely. The ordinance bringing land grabbers and erring officials under the ambit of law has come at a time when government has identified thousands of acres of its land that has been encroached upon.
Sample this: Of the 1.18 lakh government lands in Bangalore Urban, 13,614 acres have been encroached upon. The value of these lands, taking into consideration the guidance value of stamps and registration department, has been estimated at Rs 27,377.75 crore.
The legislature committee for land encroachment survey has identified largescale encroachment of government lands under the purview of 15 departments. Departments occupying top slots are revenue, BDA, forest and wakf, says an interim report prepared by the committee, headed by MLA A T Ramaswamy, which will be released on Thursday.
According to the report, a copy of which has been made available to TOI, information on government lands was obtained from 28 departments and a survey done. Bangalore Urban deputy commissioner M A Sadiq carried out the exercise with 250 surveyors.
The revenue department tops in both murky deals and the quantum of land encroached upon. The committee found that over 3 lakh bogus possession certificates were issued to encroachers of government lands in connivance with revenue department officials.
Housing societies have played a major role too. A large number of societies violated all norms and went ahead with layout formation. Some of these are Shantinagar Housing Society, Vishwa Bharati Housebuilding Co-operative Society and Aircraft Employees Society.
The Pollution Control Board has also come under the scanner. It has been pulled up for renewing licences for stone-crushing units around TG Halli reservoir which has been declared environmentally sensitive. While the government has banned stone crushing activities around 1,493 sq km area of TG Halli, the authorities have still been renewing licences.
IN A NUTSHELL
Since stringent action has been initiated in other states to prevent encroachment, land grabbers are migrating to Bangalore who find it easy to lay their hands on government properties Prime temple properties are being grabbed; Muzrai and endowments department has not acted 3.5 acres of NIMHANS property grabbed by a private developer who has constructed an apartment for which BMP has given khata
Top 3 departments
Revenue: 9,294 acres valued at Rs 18,588 crore BDA: 2,878.2 acres, Rs 5,236.25 crore Forest and lakes: 938.54 acres, at Rs 1,877.08 crore

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