A month after clearance, forest dept yet to get land

A month after clearance, forest dept yet to get land

Image for representation only.

One more vast chunk of forest land measuring 92 acres in Thyamagondlu village of Nelamnagala taluk has been restored to the forest department by the revenue administration. However, even after a month of the order, RTC entry in favour of the forest department has not been made.

The land in question is situated in survey number 44 of Ballagere village, Thyamagondlu village in Nelamangala taluk, Bengaluru rural district. According to revenue records, survey number 44 has 150 acres of land. Through a representation, the forest department claimed that the entire 150 acres of land was forest land through a notification issued in March 1927. The representation stated that of the 150 acres of forest land, 92.31 acres of land was illegally granted in favour of certain individuals.

Subsequently, tahasildar, Nelamangala taluk, forwarded a letter to the assistant commissioner that 92.31 acres of land was shown as granted in the names of 30 individuals. The assistant commissioner Doddaballapur issued notices to all the 30 for an enquiry initiated under the provisions of Karnataka Land Revenue Rules. During the hearing before the assistant commissioner, the advocates representing some grantees (those who were granted land) contended that they have been granted land with different extents and since been issued saguvali chit. The grantees produced two official memorandums, one issued in the year 1961 to an extent of 70 acres in favour of 19 persons and another issued in the year 1993 to an extent of 22.31 acres in favour of 11 persons. Assistant commissioner N Mahesh Babu in his order on September 6, 2018, restoring the forest land stated that no land can be granted once reserved as forest area. He upheld the submission made by the assistant conservator of forests, Doddaballapur sub-division along with the notification issued on March 31, 1927, by the Maharaja of Mysore reserving 150 acres in survey number 44 for village forest.

“It is needless to say that if it is a forest land, the revenue authorities have no jurisdiction to grant in favour of any persons unless that is de-reserved from the forest area. In the absence of the same, I am of the opinion that the grant in favour of the respondents (grantees) in respect of the land in question is not sustainable in law and the same is liable to be cancelled. The revenue entries have to be restored in the name of the forest department,’’ the order stated.