Friday, December 29, 2006

Special force to seize 18,000 acres

Special force to seize 18,000 acres
Vijay Times

:: Land sharks, beware. In a major decision, the government on Thursday decided to take back more than 18,000 acres of encroached government land. To speed up this process, a special enforcement cell, a task force and a legal cell have been set up.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said the cells will start functioning from the first week of January and they have been directed to take back possession of encroached lands in and around Bangalore city by the end of the financial year. This means government has three months to act.

The Chief Minister also announced cash prizes of Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh to those who give information about encroachment of government land. Name and address of the informer will be kept secret, he added.

“We have identified 18,000 acres of government land worth more than Rs 25,000 crore. After getting possession of the lands, some portion will be used for public utilities and for providing housing facility for poor and backward people. Additional land will be auctioned, “ the Chief Minister said.

The government would get more than Rs 15,000 crore from auction and this would be used for waiver of loans of the farmers. “I have already directed officials to get information about the amount of loans farmers got in various institutions”, he added.

The Chief Minister said the enforcement cell will be headed by the Principal Secretary of Revenue department. An IAS officer of district magistrate rank and four senior KAS officers of Assistant Commissioner rank will be the members of the cell. The Special task force will be headed by a senior IPS officer. Four eminent lawyers will be appointed for the legal cell.

Regarding legal issues, the Law department has initiated steps for setting up a special court for speedy disposal of encroachment cases. A letter has been sent to Chief Justice of the High Court in this regard. “The CJ has agreed in principle and a bench may be set up in the High Court itself” Kumaraswamy said. If any person comes out for self declaration of encroached land, special consideration will be given under the legal framework.

Guess who?

Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on Thursday hinted to the scribes about various types of encroachment and misuse of government land. “ A “powerful” person got government land under the pretext of cultivating medicinal plants. But now a multi-storeyed building has been constructed in that place. This is a sample of how the government land being misused” he explained.

n18,000 acres of land worth Rs 25,000 crore to be taken over

nEnforcement cell, task force and a legal cell from first week of Jan

nCJ approached for setting up of a special court

nLands worth Rs 15,000 cr to be auctioned

nThe amount to be used to waive off loans of the farmers

nCash award of Rs 5,000 to 1,00,000 to informers

nRegularisation under market rate if self-declared


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