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A forest land turned into concrete jungle

Bangalore: march 8, 2014 DHNS 3:12 IST
The Bada Manvarthe Kaval (BM Kaval) is home to peacocks, deer, rabbits, jackals and a variety of winged creatures. However, the verdant forest, in Bangalore South region, has been turned into a concrete jungle, thanks to Bagair Hukum land scheme, putting its rich flora and fauna in peril.

The scheme, meant to empower and sustain economically and socially weaker section of society, is being exploited by vested interests to make money. Land documents accessed by Deccan Herald under RTI Act show that in the last 19 years, at least 178 acres out of 550 acre in B M Kaval forest were allotted to various people, ignoring the impact on environment and ecology.

Documents accessed under the RTI show that between 1995 and 2000, in survey No. 4 of BM Kaval, Marappa and his sons M Lakshman and Narayanappa got three acres each under the scheme. On November 3, 2012, Deccan Herald had reported how Bangalore Advocates Association President A P Ranganath, his parents and sister were granted 15 acres under the scheme. The BMTF had registered a case against Ranganath and his family members under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.

B M Kaval finds special reference in A T Ramaswamy Committee Report on land-grabbing cases in Bangalore.

A visit to Google Earth history gives ample proof of how much forest land, connected to Vrushabhavathi River, has shrunk in the last 10 years, with hundreds of houses have coming up.

Further sounding the death knell, Bangalore Development Authority has promoted a residential layout — Banashankari VI Stage VI Block, next to the forest.

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